Israel Adesanya beats Marvin Vettori over five rounds to retain UFC middleweight title

Marvin Vettori believes he had an argument to win his first fight with Israel Adesanya.

In their rematch, UFC middleweight champion Adesanya left no questions unanswered as he put on a commanding performance against his Italian challenger.

Adesanya showed of impressive defensive grappling against a determined Vettori, resisting the almost all takedown attempts and handily escaping some dangerous positions on the ground.

On the feet, it was clear the Nigeria-born Kiwi had the edge over Vettori.

Vettori was head hunting, swinging wildly as he pressured the composed Adesanya to try and draw him into another takedown attempt, but the latter always seemed to have the upper hand in each striking exchange.

Adesanya chewed up Vettori lead leg with some vicious kicks at range with accuracy and consistency.

Those legs weren’t the only target. Adesanya was a sniper, landing punches with precision up top, kicks to the body and boxing combinations when the fight did enter close quarters.

Adesanya was rightly awarded the unanimous decision win with 50-45 scores across the board to defend his UFC middleweight crown, the perfect response to his losing effort against Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight belt in March.


Brandon Moreno submits Deiveson Figueiredo to become the first Mexico-born UFC champion

Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno fought to an entertaining, back-and-forth draw first time round, but it was the Mexican challenger who comfortably came out on top in the rematch.

Moreno looked sharp on the feet, felling Figueiredo with a laser-like jab in the opening round and looked a step ahead in terms of speed against the Brazilian power striker.

Not only in the stand up stakes, Moreno also looked like he had the edge on the ground and that ultimately led to his victory.

Ending the second round in top position was a sign of things to come and that confidence led Moreno to quickly take Figueiredo down in the third round.

From there, Moreno took Figueiredo’s back and slickly secured a body triangle on his compromised opponent. “The Assassin Baby” then sought after a rear-naked choke and eventually caught one to force Figueiredo to submit.

Moreno broke down in tears in the Octagon following his triumph – a win that saw him become the first-ever Mexico-born UFC champion.


Leon Edwards overcomes fifth-round danger to defeat Nate Diaz

Leon Edwards went 10 fights unbeaten in the uber-competitive UFC welterweight division at UFC 263, but he had to face some adversity against Nate Diaz to get there.

The Birmingham, England all-rounder was on cruise control for the first four rounds.

Edwards dictated the fight wherever it went. “Rocky” chopped at Diaz’s lead leg with some nasty kicks, landed numerous takedowns and slick footsweeps, scored with big punching combinations that seemed to draw some in-cage praise from Diaz, and bloodied the Stockton, California native with elbows on the ground over the first 20 minutes.

But Diaz is known for his toughness and resilience for a reason.

The fifth and final round of this non-main event and non-title fight – the first time that’s happened in UFC history – began like the previous four with Edwards landing strikes on his opponent with conviction.

However, the complexion of the fight quickly changed late on as Diaz hurt Edwards with a classic right slap, left straight combination delivered from the fan favourite.

Edwards was in retreat, likely knowing all his good work could be undone, as Diaz hunted for what appeared to be an unlikely stoppage win.

Despite his wobbly legs, Edwards never went down and showed decent enough defence to withstand the sustained pressure Diaz put him under until the final horn to see out the win.


Belal Muhammad earns decision win over Demian Maia

Solid defensive grappling and having the striking edge saw Belal Muhammad defeat the dogged Demian Maia over three rounds.

Decorated Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion Maia wanted to take the fight to the floor and succeeded in the first round, but his efforts to do that again saw his gas tank gradually drain over this 15 minutes of action.

Muhammad was able to resist Maia’s determined, constant attempts to ground him, but was able to fire back with punches in return to rack up the points he needed for the scorecards.

In the third round, Maia looked fatigued and struggled to match Muhammad’s pace on the feet when his takedown attempts failed. In all, Muhammad defended 20 of 21 takedowns in this gruelling contest.


Paul Craig snaps Jamahal Hill in first round

There seemed to be some bad blood going into this light heavyweight scrap between Paul Craig and the unbeaten Jamahal Hill, but it was the former who left the cage victorious on Saturday night.

Scotland’s Craig handed Hill his first defeat of his budding professional MMA career with a stunning submission.

Craig pulled guard early in the first round and immediately grabbed hold of Hill’s arm with an overhook, twisting and turning on it before launching himself into an armbar attempt.

That attempt failed, but Hill’s arm was already compromised from it. Craig once again had hold of an overhook and cranked even harder on an armbar attempt that looked like it dislocated Hill’s left elbow.

Tough as they come, Hill refused to tap and the referee appeared to miss the fact that the up-and-comer’s lower arm was left dangling.

Craig did his job and continued to fight, securing Hill in a triangle choke and battered him with punches from the bottom – all the while Hill’s lifeless limb bounced around as those strikes made impact – before the referee stepped in.


UFC 263: Adesanya vs. Vettori full results

UFC Middleweight Championship: Israel Adesanya (c) def. Marvin Vettori by unanimous decision after five rounds
UFC Flyweight Championship: Brandon Moreno def. Deiveson Figueiredo (c) by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:26 of round three
Welterweight: Leon Edwards def. Nate Diaz by unanimous decision after five rounds
Welterweight: Belal Muhammad def. Demian Maia by unanimous decision after three rounds
Light Heavyweight: Paul Craig def. Jamahal Hill by technical submission (armbar) at 1:59 of round one
Lightweight: Brad Riddell def. Drew Dober by unanimous decision after three rounds
Light Heavyweight: Eryk Anders def. Darren Stewart by unanimous decision after three rounds
Women’s Flyweight: Lauren Murphy def. Joanne Calderwood by split decision after three rounds
Featherweight: Movsar Evloev def. Hakeem Dawodu by unanimous decision after three rounds
Women’s Bantamweight: Pannie Kianzad def. Alexis Davis by unanimous decision after three rounds
Lightweight: Terrance McKinney def. Matt Frevola by KO (punches) at 0:07 of round one
Catchweight: Steven Peterson def. Chase Hooper by unanimous decision after three rounds
Lightweight: Fares Ziam def. Luigi Vendramini by majority decision
Heavyweight: Carlos Felipe def. Jake Collier by split decision after three rounds