Tonight’s UFC 263 main card features a highly anticipated five-round welterweight bout between Nate Diaz and Leon Edwards.
Diaz (20-12 MMA) will be returning to action for the first time since suffering a TKO loss to Jorge Masvidal in November of 2019. Prior to that setback, ‘The Stockton Slugger’ was coming off of a unanimous decision victory over former lightweight title holder Anthony Pettis.
As for Leon Edwards (18-3 MMA), the Birmingham native most recently took to the Octagon in March, where his bout with Belal Muhammad resulted in a no-contest due to a nasty accidental eye poke. Prior to that unfortunate result, ‘Rocky’ had put together an eight-fight win streak, which included victories over Rafael dos Anjos, Donald Cerrone and Gunnar Nelson.
Round one begins and both men quickly meet in the center of the cage. Diaz lands a low kick as Edwards paws with his jab. ‘Rocky’ with the early pressure. Nate swings and misses with a left hand. ‘The Stockton Slugger’ is playing some head games early. He is putting his hands down and turning his back. Edwards lands a hard low kick. He looks for another but Diaz avoids. Big shots in the pocket are traded by both fighters. Leon Edwards comes forward but Nate Diaz clips him with a right hand. The former TUF 5 contestant lands a low kick. Edwards cracks him with a right hand and then a hard outside low kick. Nate Diaz fires back with a big combination. Edwards immediately forces the clinch and looks for a takedown. He gets it and jumps on Nate’s back. Diaz is defending Leon from landing his second hook while landing some short punches. He looks to scramble but Edwards is able to keep control. Big hammer fists from Leon now. He lands a left hand. Diaz gets back up to his feet. Leon Edwards lands a heavy low kick. The horn sounds to end round one.
Round two begins and Leon Edwards quickly comes forward with early pressure. He lands a low kick and then just misses with a right hand. Both men connect with good right hands in the pocket. Nate is applying the pressure now. He goes to the body of Edwards with a jab. Leon shoots in and scores another takedown. Diaz looks to lock up a leg lock. He does and it appears to be tight. Edwards rolls and scrambles free. He lands a nasty leg kick and Nate Diaz definitely felt that one. ‘The Stockton Slugger’ responds with a left hand and then another. He forces the clinch and lands a knee. The horn sounds to end round two.
Round three of this UFC 263 welterweight fight begins and Leon Edwards lands a standing elbow. He follows that up with a good left hand. Nate Diaz smiles and says “that was good”. Leon with another hard low kick. Diaz forces the clinch and presses Edwards up against the cage. He lands a good knee and then another. Edwards is able to switch the position and then proceeds to drag Nate to the canvas. He immediately begins working ground and pound from half guard position. Big elbows now from ‘Rocky’. Nate Diaz is busted open. The referee steps in but allows the fight to continue. Nate Diaz comes out swinging on his feet. Leon Edwards quickly forces the clinch and once again is able to drag the Stockton native back down to the canvas. Nate scrambles back to his feet right away but eats a spinning elbow for his efforts. Round three comes to an end.
Round four of Diaz vs. Edwards begins and Nate is pressing the action early. He swings and misses with a left hand. Leon lands a front kick up the middle. Diaz with a nice body shot. Both men raise their hands after that shot. Leon Edwards lands another solid low kick. He follows that up with a huge left hand. Nate eats it gives him the thumbs up. Good punches now from Leon. He is beginning to put it on Diaz here. He lands a big low kick. Nate turns his back and walks away. He leaps in with a combination but Edwards counters with a left. Nate Diaz rushes in with a combination and lands a good right hand. He presses Leon against the cage and lands another right on the break. Low kicks from both fighters now. One minute remains in round four. Diaz swings and misses with a wild left. Leon Edwards returns fire and his punch lands flush. He lands another big left over the top. A low kick from ‘Rocky’ scores to end round four.
The fifth and final round of this UFC 263 welterweight contest begins and Nate Diaz lands a quick one-two. Leon Edwards fire back with a low kick that sends Diaz to the floor. Nate jumps back to his feet and continues to apply pressure. ‘Rocky’ just misses with a counter left. He continues to pepper the front leg of Diaz with these heavy low kicks. Still, Nate remains in the pocket and fires off another combination of his own. He lands a big left hand now and Edwards appears to be rocked. Diaz pushes him up against the fence and lands a knee to his ribs. Leon breaks free and lands another nasty low kick. Two minutes remain in the fight. Both men land left hands. Edwards follows up with a two-punch combination. Nate Diaz just eats those and moves forward. ‘The Stockton Slugger’ with a big right hand and Edwards is hurt. He moves in for the kill. Leon is in a world of trouble here. Diaz with a left. He comes out swinging. Edwards somehow stays up. Final seconds and this one is over. WOW!
Official UFC 263 Result: Leon Edwards def. Nate Diaz by unanimous decision (49-46 x3)
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