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Betting picks and odds for UFC 263

Photo: UFC

UFC Pay-Per-View action is finally back! After suffering his first career loss, UFC Middleweight champ Israel Adesanya is back in action and facing challenger Marvin Vettori. This is followed by the highly anticipated rematch between Flyweight champion Deivison Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno.

On the non-title side, fan favorite Nate Diaz is hitting the Octagon for the first time since 2019. So, let’s dive right into the betting odds and Fightlete staff picks for UFC 263!

All odds are via Fanduel Sportsbook.

NOTE: All picks and predictions are for entertainment purposes only. Fightlete does not facilitate gambling activities. Please gamble responsibly if you so choose.

Results from the last event:

Mike: 3-2, -0.21 units

Kirien: 2-3, -0.21 units

Drew: 2-3, -0.79 units

Abraham: 2-3, -1.71 units

Sean: 2-3, -0.79 units

Results for 2021:

Mike: 42-33, -6.09 units

Drew: 40-41, -6.47 units

Abraham: 14-15, -6.01 units

Sean: 35-41, -15.59 units

Kirien: 38-41, -16.71 units units

Israel Adesanya (-270) vs. Marvin Vettori (+200)

To go the distance? Yes/No (-140/+104)

Drew’s Pick: No

This is a fight that could go the distance, but the plus money value is quite enticing. I think that Adesanya is going to be looking to make a statement after recently suffering his first career loss. I also believe that Adesanya can get it done, but not for those odds, so I will ride with the fight not to go the distance.

Abraham’s Pick: Vettori

At times, Adesanya has looked unbeatable, especially during his middleweight run putting on spectacular performances against Robert Whittaker, Kelvin Gastelum, and Paulo Costa. All three have one thing in common— they were all pretty much kickboxing fights with very little grappling. Vettori knows if he is going to win that he will have to mercilessly take “the last stylebender” down and keep him grounded. This fight is going to look very similar to his last fight against Kevin Holland. Adesanya will create a pop with the crowd when a clean strike connects but then expect Vettori to shoot and attempt to take him down as many times as it takes. It’s going to be ugly folks.

Mike’s Pick: No

I was surprised that the odds were fairly moderate on the side of going the distance. I think if Marvin wins that he will likely have to grind out a fairly ugly decision with a lot of top control and grappling. On the flip side, I think Adesanya has a very good chance of keeping Marvin at bay with leg kicks and ranged attacks that will thwart the takedowns. If Marvin is unable to consistently take and keep Israel down, I think Adesanya has a great chance of piling up damage until an eventual finish.

Sean’s Pick: Adesanya

Israel Adesanya met Vettori back in 2018 and it was a very close fight. Izzy got his hand raised that night by split decision and that has to bother him. Vettori has proved he's the top contender by winning fights with his raw power, grinding out a dominant win over Holland solidified his spot. Israel has had time to review his errors from the previous fight, and will show up aware of what Vettori’s game plan is. Patience is the key with throwing Vettori off his game with constant feints. This should lead to a huge Knockout.

Deiveson Figueiredo (-250) vs. Brandon Moreno (+205)

To go the distance? Yes/No (-122/-106)

Drew’s Pick: No

Yet again, I think this fight will not go the distance. In the first fight, we saw an absolute war with crazy pace. What are the odds that they can do it again? I am riding with the fight to not go all five rounds at a really good value.

Abraham’s Pick: Yes

Last year, they fought a ‘fight of the year’ contender. This year, they’ll bring the heat once again. It’s hard to choose a winner because “Figgy” hits harder than any 125 pound fighter on the planet. When he connects, people go down. Still, “the babyface assassin” has shown he can roll with the punches and if figgy doesn’t connect a clean strike or combo early it’ll get real.

Mike’s Pick: No

The first fight was an absolute classic. While I expect another great fight, I do not think this one will last as long. The champion Figueiredo is historically a fight finisher and he seems to have a chip on his shoulder heading into this rematch. He feels he needs to finish Moreno in order to settle the score and with that mentality heading in, his chances of not only finishing Moreno but also getting finished by him go up exponentially.

Sean’s Pick: Deivison Figueiredo

The first fight between these two was literally 3 weeks after their prior fights the month before. With a full camp behind them, I anticipate a different fight. Expect Figueiredo as the champion to be less aggressive in the opening rounds. Moreno showed he had the chin to withstand the devastating power of Deiveson but this time all it will take is patience to expose it. If Figueiredo can time out Moreno and not over-exert himself early, he finishes him with a KO or Submission after a Knockdown.

Nate Diaz (+400) vs. Leon Edwards (-650)

To go the distance? Yes/No (-164/+128)

Drew’s Pick: No

I know I am picking all these fights to end quickly, but we have to remember that this is a five-round fight. Diaz has not fought in a minute and has come back against a really tough opponent, so going all five rounds, even for Diaz, is going to be tough. With such great odds, I cannot pass it up.

Abraham’s Pick: Leon Edwards

First off, Nate Diaz is a superstar. Anyone who says otherwise is a hater. Even so, I don’t see him winning this one. Most fans have watched Nate Diaz grow up in the octagon since 2007. So, as disheartening as it is to say, he is going to be dominated in this contest. Leon Edwards is the better fighter on his feet by a landslide and will piece up the fighter from the 209 area code and cruise to a decisive victory. -650 is not good money, it’s guaranteed money.

Mike’s Pick: No

I know Nate Diaz’s toughness is the stuff of legends, but this is a very tough fight for Nate. He is going up against a much bigger man in Leon Edwards, who has slick and precise striking as well as a well rounded skill set. I think Edwards will beat Nate up for a few rounds before getting the finish inside the distance.

Sean’s Pick: Leon Edwards

I don’t think Edwards is as impressive as they made him out to be at this point. Still this is his biggest name to date. Diaz, who hasn’t fought since 2019, still has value as an underdog and fan favorite, but the consistency of Edwards deflates any reason to doubt him against 209. Edwards will set up traps where, if Diaz takes the bait, he’ll end up taking major damage. The accumulation of technical and elusive strategies by Edwards hands and feet will lead to a late stoppage.

Belal Muhammad (-250) vs. Demian Maia (+188)

To go the distance? Yes/No (-148/+116)

Drew’s Pick: Muhammad

Okay, fine. I will make a pick that is not centered around a time prop. This is actually my “lock of the week” despite the pretty high odds. For my reasoning, check out our YouTube video here.

Abraham’s Pick: Belal Muhammad

Demain Maia is the best jiu-jitsu practitioner in the UFC. For decades, he has proved himself to be an anaconda when he gets a hold of you. However, at 43 years-old, he doesn’t have much left in the tank. On the opposite end, Muhammad is just entering his prime. As long as “the chosen one” can keep Maia at a distance, he’ll easily outbox him and score a knockout victory in what could be Maia’s last UFC appearance.

Mike’s Pick: Yes

I think this matchup favors the younger, faster, and likely hungrier Muhammad. Having said that, I do not think the odds for a Muhammad win are good enough to be the best pick. Muhammad is a phenomenal wrestler and pressure fighter but has not been known as a prolific finisher. Maia, meanwhile, has been in there with the best of the best and often makes it to the scorecards.

Sean’s Pick: Belal Muhammad

This fight is a perfect matchup for Belal. Although Maia has a brilliant arsenal of BJJ skills, his chances of getting the fight to the ground against Belal, who boasts 85% takedown rate, aren’t strong enough for me to put money down. Muhammad’s striking has been improving and he can be very tricky to manuever against. Belal is ready for Maia at this stage and a combination of his striking and landing an elusive takedown will show why. Muhammad by Unanimous Decision is my prediction.

Joanne Calderwood (-150) vs. Lauren Murphy (+118)

Drew’s Pick: Murphy

Surprisingly, Murphy is an underdog despite rocking a 4-fight win streak and Calderwood struggling as of late. So, I have to hop on it. Hopefully Murphy can stay quick and really do some work before Calderwood can get damage in.

Abraham’s Pick: Lauren Murphy

The oddsmakers got this one wrong. Joanne Calderwood is a fighting veteran but she has never reached the top of the mountain. She gets close, but only enough to then suffer a devastating defeat. This will be no different, as it’s Lauren Murphy’s time. She is going to put on a kickboxing clinic and put a stamp on the division as the next title challenger for Valentina Shevchenko.

Mike’s Pick: Murphy

Really high value on Murphy in this one. Calderwood is a great Flyweight contender but I think her name recognition and fan support is what has her as the favorite here tonight. Murphy has looked like a machine in her last few outings and I think she’s going to get it done on Saturday and bring her win streak up to 5.

Sean’s Pick: Murphy

Murphy could be a valuable pick for my parlay. While many have considered Calderwood as being the #1 contender for a while, Murphy has quietly won 4 fights in a row against other veterans like Modafferi and Lee. JoJo has been struggling to put a win streak together while she’s been in the octagon and going against competition just as tough. She’s a tough fighter but despite what the odds may say, this won't be her night.

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