What’s Next: UFC 263 Winners

Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori, UFC 263
Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori, UFC 263 press conference Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

Isreal Adesanya was able to retain his middleweight title yet again at UFC 263, with a decision win over Marvin Vettori. We now have a new flyweight champion after UFC 263 however. In the co-main event, Brandon Moreno submitted Deiveson Figueiredo in the third round. Today we will be looking into what is next for the winners of UFC 263.

Isreal Adesanya

After his fight, Adesanya called for a rematch with Robert Whittaker but this time in Auckland, New Zealand. Whittaker has got to be a clear-cut number one contender and should be next in line to challenge for the title. Whittaker has won three straight, picking up victories over Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Kelvin Gastelum. He’s the former champ. Give him the fight, he’s earned it.

Adesanya’s next fight: Robert Whittaker

Brandon Moreno

The flyweight division is kind of thin at the moment. Deiveson Figueiredo may even get an immediate trilogy fight if someone doesn’t step up as a clear number one contender. At the moment the only number one contender option would be Askar Askarov. Askarov has won his last three fights against Tim Elliot, Alexandre Pantoja, and Joeseph Benavidez. Askarov currently holds the number two spot in the flyweight division right behind Figueiredo. Although everyone would love to see a trilogy fight, the UFC seems like they would like to move on with Moreno’s run as champion.

Moreno’s next fight: Askar Askarov

Leon Edwards

Leon Edwards won a unanimous decision over Nate Diaz this past weekend. For the last year, Edwards has been in a weird position where he should be next in line for a title shot but he keeps getting skipped. There is a strong possibility that happens again. Dana White has announced that Colby Covington will be getting that next shot at Kamaru Usman’s title, sort of. A date has yet to be announced but it is definitely going to be on a PPV card. That leaves UFC 265 in August, and UFC 266 in September as possibilities. If the UFC sets it up for the September card that would mean that Edwards wouldn’t get to fight again until early next year at the soonest.

If Edwards chose to take a fight in the meantime it would likely mean that he would fight the winner of Gilbert Burns versus Stephen Thompson. Both of those fights would be dangerous fights for Edwards and would lower the chances of him getting a title shot.

Edwards’ next fight: A title shot 

Belal Muhammad

Belal Muhammad won a unanimous decision over Demian Maia at UFC 263. This win makes Muhammad 10-3-1 in the UFC and should put him in line for another fight inside the top ten. Jorge Masvidal would be a perfect opponent for Muhammad. Muhammad has shown fight after fight that he has power in his hands and likes to strike. This would play perfectly in Masvidal’s style. Masvidal is currently ranked number seven in the division and is coming off two consecutive losses.

Muhammad’s next fight: Jorge Masvidal 

Paul Craig

Paul Craig defeated opponent Jamahal Hill this past weekend by submission,  though it was announced as a TKO. A cringe-worthy one that left Hill’s arm flopping all over the place. That win will likely give Craig another fight just outside of the top ten. Craig is 4-0-1 in his last five and is trending up in the light heavyweight division. In his next fight, he should fight a guy like Ryan Spann. Spann has power striking but is also a great grappler. 11 of Spann’s 19 wins are by submission and he is 5-1 in the UFC.

Craig’s next fight: Ryan Spann