UFC 263 was one of the more loaded cards of the year, and the attention it received definitely helped those like Brandon Moreno launch their career in the right direction. However, not all fighters walked away with a big boost. Today, we’ll look at a few of the fighters who came out on the wrong side of things on the UFC 263 main card.
(**NOTE: Due to the comments from Maia and Dana White, I have chosen not to theoretically match him up with anyone at this time.)
Despite his initial feelings after the bout, Vettori was really never in his title fight with Israel Adesanya. Adesanya outclassed him on the feet and even seemed to get the better of him when it hit the mat. There’s certainly no shame in a loss like that, but it does appear that he’ll need to go back to the drawing board if he is going to pose a serious threat to Izzy. Vettori seems to be in a rush to get back in there though, so let’s pair him with the quickest possible route. Paulo Costa seems to be at an impasse with the UFC over pay, but if they could work that out, it would be a great litmus test for Vettori and exactly how high we should consider him at middleweight.
Marvin Vettori’s Next Fight: Paulo Costa
Many people believe that UFC 263 will be the last time we see Deiveson Figueiredo in the flyweight division. It makes sense given that he seems to struggle with the cut every time out and has even missed weight for a title shot. While I don’t think he’d be at the top of the heap at bantamweight, I do think he would factor in the rankings and perhaps even the top 10. Jimmie Rivera sounds like the right fit for that debut. Not only is he a fun style to see Figgy against, but he is one of the shorter guys in the rankings to keep the jump from being too much too soon.
Deiveson Figueiredo’s Next Fight: Jimmie Rivera
Nate Diaz can fight anyone and it would sell. He is also smart enough to not just fight anyone and to instead get the right fights for his career and wallet. Coming off a loss, the one that makes the most sense is Conor. They both could be on 20-fight losing streaks and people would tune into that. This is obviously contingent on Conor losing to Poirier next month. Should he win, that fight won’t happen, and they might have to look elsewhere for a Diaz opponent. Tony Ferguson or Justin Gaethje would be decent picks for that fight, but Conor is still ‘Option A’.
Nate Diaz’s Next Fight: Conor McGregor
One of the more highly-touted prospects at 205lbs, Jamahal Hill bit off a little more than he could chew with Paul Craig’s grappling at UFC 263. I don’t think this shows a weakness in Hill’s game as much as it shows a less strong aspect at this time. It would be worth testing again whether he can hack it on the ground. Da Un Jung may be the right opponent for that. His combination of boxing and clinch trips could give Hill trouble, but either way we’d learn a bit more about Hill’s grappling.
Jamahall Hill’s Next Fight: Da Un Jung