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UFC 263 breakdown: Nate Diaz is a big underdog vs. Leon Edwards. Does he have a shot?

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UFC 263 breakdown: Nate Diaz is a big underdog vs. Leon Edwards. Does he have a shot?

Leon Edwards

Early Newspaper

Staple data:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 29 Weight: 170 lbs. Reach: 74″
  • Last fight: No contest with Belal Muhammad (March 13, 2021)
  • Camp: Team Renegade (Birmingham, Eng.)
  • Stance/hanging fashion: Southpaw/muay Thai
  • Risk management: Comely

Supplemental data:


+ BAMMA welterweight title


+ Various amateur MMA accolades


+ 6 KO victories


+ 3 submission wins


+ 5 first-round finishes


+ KO vitality


+ Comely footwork


^ Manages distance, strikes laterally, and so on.


+ Accurate shot want


^ Coming forward and off the counter


+ Hard head and physique kicks


+ Excellent clinch game


^ Grip awareness, elbows off the break, and so on.


+ Underrated wrestling ability


+ Just transitional grappler


+/- 3-1 against UFC-degree southpaws

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 02: Nate Diaz of the United States fights against Jorge Masvidal (not pictured) of the United States in the Welterweight “BMF” championship bout at some point of UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden on November 02, 2019 in New York Metropolis. (Narrate by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775427884 ORIG FILE ID: 1185161198

Staple data:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 36 Weight: 170 lbs. Reach: 76″
  • Last fight: TKO loss to Jorge Masvidal (Nov. 2, 2019)
  • Camp: Cesar Gracie Combat Team (Stockton, Calif.)
  • Stance/hanging fashion: Southpaw/boxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental data:


+ “The Ultimate Fighter 5” winner


+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt


+ 5 KO victories


+ 12 submission victories


+ 8 first-round finishes


+ Aggressive pace and tension


^ High-quantity approach


+ Just boxing formula


^ Accurate jabs and crosses


+ Deceptively solid clinch fighter


+ Excellent submission grappler


^ Stable transitions/comfortable in bad positions


+ Dangerous guard game


^ Comely leg dexterity


+/- Physically durable/traditionally takes damage


+/- 5-4 against UFC-degree southpaws

Leon Edwards

Amidst the title fights at the top, UFC 263’s main card will also feature a fun showdown between two savvy southpaws.

Southpaw versus southpaw matchups always will get me aroused, as it’s an normally understated stance pairing given its rarity. And although more traditional attacks change into available on paper, forecasting outcomes can generally be trickier pondering about that southpaws are inclined to predicate a lot of their game against orthodox opposition and training partners.

That said, regardless of their differences in kinds, I believe that both Leon Edwards and Nate Diaz are more than comfortable letting their offense soar against fellow southpaws standing.

Under the tutelage of Richard Perez (who is also the boxing coach of Cut Diaz), we have viewed the youthful Diaz brother steadily sharpen his abilities standing.

Firing jab-trail continuums with the snap of a coiled cobra, Diaz will off-space hanging rhythms, disrupting a fighter’s timing and subsequent approach. Coupled with unabashed physical taunts and mental warfare, Stockton’s contain can sneakily steal the momentum of a fight accurate out from his opponent’s toes.

Jab-trail continuum’s from Nate Diaz #UFC263 pic.twitter.com/Oysb4UQZjb

— Dan Tom (@DanTomMMA) June 7, 2021

Although Diaz has been relatively inactive in recent years, he has attempted to point to us that his cult status isn’t the easiest thing that has been growing.

Against Anthony Pettis, Diaz displayed an awareness of the traditional defensive pitfalls associated with his boxing-centric stance, smartly managing distance and switching stances in his approach (almost doing a variation of Thai marching when actively making an attempt to tension). Diaz also managed to check kicks a bit more than he typically does, something that proved to be crucial being that he was able to distress Pettis’ foot at the starting up of the 2d round.

Level-headed, legs kicks or not, it is not unusual to gape Diaz take damage in victory or defeat, as his in-your-face variety of tension would not reach with out its expenses. And against a elephantine-fledged welterweight like Edwards who is familiar with the art of eight limbs, Diaz may acquire more ‘smoke’ than he is accustom to this Saturday.

A slick, diverse striker who can counter or reach forward with attain, Edward’s pairing of hasten and accuracy helps him duvet a lot of floor in regards to gaining admire.

Working in the back of a fallacious jab that he normally makes exercise of to check his opponents, Edwards keeps highly effective left crosses and kicks at the ready, occasionally sprinkling in sneaky teeps and explosive knees to intercept oncoming degree changes. The Englishman also doesn’t mind throwing a shot away in reveal to land another, as Edwards appears completely attractive with making adjustments on the soar.

Whenever his opponents offer up straight shots down the center, Edwards has a knack for countering over the tops of their shoulders. And when they contemplate to hook hard or launch vitality from the rear, Edwards is hasty to suffocate their efforts by initiating the clinch and applying his patent shut-quarter-combat tactics (which is able to probably reach in handy for this matchup).

August 17, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Nate Diaz pins Anthony Pettis to the mat at some point of UFC 241 at Honda Heart. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Thinking about that 170-kilos has traditionally been a weight class where wrestling is a major key to success, we’re going to be able to probably search for two underrated clinch games collide.

Initially acknowledged as a striker when first stepping onto the UFC scene, Edwards establish a sizable emphasis on his wrestling after shedding a shut break up-decision in his promotional debut. Since then, we have viewed Edwards surprise better on-paper grapplers with suffocating clinches and smartly-timed time out takedowns that allow the Englishman to counter offensive efforts and acquire rounds in the task.

Extra normally than not, it is Edwards’ knack for landing slick elbows off the breaks that make it easier for the English fighter to establish both underhooks and physique locks as the fight goes on, making for a fruitful pairing to play off of. In fact, it is not unusual for the Jamaican-born fighter to pair up attacks in reveal to stay ahead of his opposition:

Leon Edwards threatens with an internal time out to draw a reaction from Gunnar Nelson that exposes his hips to a rear physique lock time out angle (a la Kamaru Usman), which he then makes exercise of to stable a leg run with a wrist feed for trail preserve an eye on. #UFCVegas21 pic.twitter.com/JZYqjYPn5H

— Dan Tom (@DanTomMMA) March 10, 2021

Edwards also likes searching for the back, however – as viewed in the tweet above – is correct as happy playing the role of a positional rider and grinding issues out with crafty controls and other varieties of attritional warfare. Nevertheless, Diaz is a fallacious fighter to battle with in shut quarters and has made many warring parties remorse making an attempt to tangle with him.

No longer easiest does Diaz have his patented entrance-choke threats to head to, however he also carries some calm craftiness internal the clinch that may search for the mild of day. Emphasizing more on overhooks than underhooks, Diaz will exercise this tie-up to either space up his patented Uchi Mata hip toss or start up opportunities for sneaky trips and guard pulls.

Diaz is also very proficient in transition, easiest wanting however a moment to shift the fight’s momentum from the entrance-headlock place by either landing knees or locking up chokes. If Diaz ends up shedding place and has to fight from his back, the Cesar Gracie black belt’s leg dexterity affords him loads of alternate recommendations from guard attacks to leg locks that allow for scrambles and submission opportunities.

Nevertheless, no matter how accurate Diaz’s jiu-jitsu is, he cannot afford to sleep on the grappling savvy of Edwards, who is positionally sound, conservative and hard to catch.

Leon Edwards

The oddsmakers and public are heavily siding with the English fighter, listing Edwards -500 and +400 as of this writing.

Between Diaz being favored to acquire correct two of his last 14 fights (using closing making a bet strains) and Edwards’ undeniable momentum, then I relate it’s not a mammoth surprise to gape such long odds for Stockton’s most attention-grabbing.

Regardless of Diaz’s vaunted durability and cardio assisting him in upsetting the odds endless instances ahead of, I believe that those staples have been steadily deteriorating over time. I do know Diaz has cited injuries and wretched camps on a number of occasions, however that doesn’t change the fact that he has arguably turned in correct one consistently paced performance in the past six years.

Couple that with Diaz’s long-documented propensity to cleave over his accurate glimpse, and I believe that a lot of left-sided attacks will probably be lobbed his way this Saturday.

Spectacular boxing acumen and undeniable toughness aside, I search for Diaz’s fashion providing Edwards a lot of constructing materials to work with. Edwards, who can be a very stymying counter fighter, tends to achieve his handiest work when posed with partners who offer dependable offense in somewhat predictable doses.

Add in the fact that Edwards appears to have superior wrestling to head along with his clinch game, and I have a hard time being optimistic about Diaz’s chances of controlling the pace of this fight. And although both males have proven susceptibility to southpaw leg kicks a la Rafael dos Anjos, I imagine that Edwards has the far better protection and offense in the kicking department.

For that reason, I believe that Edwards starts attacking low and working the physique early, eventually replicating Josh Thomson’s stoppage by promoting a trail to land a kick up high reach the third round.

Disguised high kicks on Nate Diaz #UFC263 pic.twitter.com/zaPt7Tffee

— Dan Tom (@DanTomMMA) June 7, 2021

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UFC 263 breakdown: Nate Diaz is a big underdog vs. Leon Edwards. Does he have a shot?