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UFC 263: Post Fight Matchmaker

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UFC 263 crowned the first Mexican-born champion in history when “The Assassin Baby” Brandon Moreno captured gold after an incredible performance against Deiveson Figueiredo. After being cut from the UFC, Moreno is unbeaten in his second stint with the company. The flyweight championship was not the only belt at stake Saturday night. Israel Adesanya defended his middleweight title for the third time after successfully beating Marvin Vettori. What should be next for them? Here are the fights to make with our UFC 263 post fight matchmaker.

UFC 263 Post Fight Matchmaker

Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker II

This rematch has been brewing for quite some time and the lead-up should be spectacular. It’s expected to happen later this fall, however, with a fight of this magnitude and its importance to Australia and New Zealand, it could be pushed back to the start of 2022. Whittaker has rattled off three straight wins and has separated himself from the other contenders at 185. 

Brandon Moreno vs. Askar Askarov II

The dominance that Moreno showed negates an immediate rematch with Figueiredo. Pair that with the uncertainty of the former champion’s future in the division, Moreno’s first defense should be a rematch against the undefeated Russian. Askarov made his UFC debut against Moreno in 2019, which ended in a draw. Alike, Whittaker, Askarov is also on a three-fight win streak. If for whatever reason Askarov is unable to land the fight, a dark horse is Kai Kara-France or David Dvorak. 

Leon Edwards vs. Gilbert Burns/ Stephen Thompson Winner 

Edwards dominated Nate Diaz for almost the entirety of their fight, yet in typical Diaz fashion, Stockton’s own came out with an even stronger brand. “Rocky” is in a difficult position sitting atop the welterweight rankings. The argument against his case for a title shot is that he is still lacking that “signature” win. If Diaz hadn’t rallied late, maybe the narrative would be different for Edwards. With an Usman/Covington rematch looming, Edwards will still be on the outside looking in. 

Belal Muhammad vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio

Muhammad is very quietly on a five-fight win streak. His bout with Edwards ended with an awful eye poke, but a victory over future hall-of-famer Demain Maia should line him up with another quality opponent in Ponzinibbio. The two are on the brink of breaking into the top ten and a victory over the other would propel them up the welterweight ladder. 

Paul Craig vs. Nikita Krylov

“Bearjew” is rarely in a boring fight and when he appeared to break Jamahal Hill’s arm, the trend continued. Craig slowed down the hype of Hill and added another win to his resume. Krylov provides a style matchup that will have the hardcore fans intrigued. 

Brad Riddell vs. Rafael Fiziev

In arguably the best fight of the night, Riddell edged fellow lightweight Drew Dober in a back-and-forth matchup. Both Riddell and Fiziev have spent time training at Tiger Muy Thai and both are climbing through the lightweight rankings. With a combined record of 19-2, these two never disappoint. 

Movsar Evloev vs. Bryce Mitchell

Another one for the diehards. Two undefeated featherweights, two elite grapplers, squaring off as both are viewed as future contenders. They each possess a high-pressure, fast-paced style of grappling that could certainly end up being a fight of the night favorite.

Lauren Murphy vs. Valentina Shevchenko

Will Lauren Murphy be the one to challenge Shevchenko? She has the best case for it even though some feel she was gifted a decision at UFC 263. She’s on a five-fight win streak and has yet to compete against the flyweight queen. With a limited number of challengers at the top of the division, she is certainly next in line. 

That was our UFC 263 post fight matchmaker. Who do you feel the winners at UFC 263 should face next?

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Brandon Joint is a 26 year old graduate of Slippery Rock University. He resides in Erie, Pa with his fiancé and two children.

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