UFC 263 went down last night (Sat., June 12, 2021) from inside Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz., with Middleweight kingpin, Israel Adesanya, retaining his strap by dominating Marvin Vettori for five rounds (see it again here). In the co-main event, Brandon Moreno submitted Deiveson Figueiredo to become the promotion’s latest Flyweight champion (highlights).
Biggest Winner: Brandon Moreno
It took two tries, but Moreno is the new UFC Flyweight champion after out-classing and eventually submitting Figueiredo in the third round of their championship rematch. “The Baby Faced Assassin” has quietly evolved and improved over the last three years, winning five of seven, with his other two fights being draws. Moreno makes history by becoming the promotion’s first Mexican-born champion ever, making his home country and family proud. It was a long road to the top for the 27-year-old — who is suddenly becoming fan (and fighter) favorite and will soon come to realize that the work only gets tougher now that he has a huge target on his back. But now that he is the future of the division, Moreno has proven that he is more than up to the task. To make it even sweeter, Moreno goes home with an extra $50,000 in bonus cash and the praise and adoration of his UFC colleagues, including Jon Jones.
Runner Up: Leon Edwards
There are many who still feel that Edwards doesn’t get the respect he deserves. Perhaps now that he secured a dominant win over Nate Diaz he can get the love a fighter on a nine-fight win streak should be getting. But if the fans wont give it to him, I’m sure Edwards will be content as long as UFC matchmakers show him the love by awarding him a shot at the title. Because even though Dana White has stated that Colby Covington was next for Kamaru Usman, that fight hasn’t been signed. Furthermore, White did says either Edwards or Diaz would get a championship fight at 170 pounds with a win (details). Whether or not Edwards’ performance was good enough to leapfrog “Chaos” remains to be seen. For now, “Rocky” can rest easy knowing that he’s at least secured an eventual shot ... even if he has to wait a little bit.
Biggest Loser: Demian Maia
If you’re surprised Diaz isn’t on the list after getting shut out by Edwards, don’t be. That’s because win, lose or draw it seems his stock always rises after a fight. It sure did last night after nearly pulling off a last-second come-from-behind win over “Rocky.” Maia gets the nod here because he has now lost two in a row after coming up short against Belal Muhammad. What makes the loss a bit tougher to swallow is that the defeat could steer him closer to retirement. Maia was on the fence about hanging them up, but coming up short against Muhammad might tip him over the edge. He is 43 years old and 3-5 over his last eight fights. Furthermore, the fight against Muhammad was the last on his UFC contract, and Dana White didn’t seemed too eager to renew it, according to his post-fight presser comments.
For complete UFC 263 results and coverage click here.