UFC 263: Head-to-head look at Leon Edwards vs. Nate Diaz

The last time Nate Diaz fought, he returned to California with a loss on his record and the UFC title belt he spoke into…

By: Trent Reinsmith | 2 years ago
UFC 263: Head-to-head look at Leon Edwards vs. Nate Diaz
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

The last time Nate Diaz fought, he returned to California with a loss on his record and the UFC title belt he spoke into existence, the “BMF” strap, in the hands of Jorge Masvidal. He also had a decent length of surgical thread holding the cuts around his eye together. It was those cuts that brought his bout against Masvidal to a stop when the doctor waved off the fight, which served as the main event for UFC 244 in New York City. That event took place in November 2019.

Diaz returns to the UFC octagon on Saturday, June 12 in a welterweight matchup opposite Leon Edwards. Like the BMF title fight, there is something special about this bout, which takes place before flyweight and middleweight contests at the top of the UFC 263 card. The Edwards vs. Diaz scrap is the first non-main event, non-title fight scheduled for five rounds.

Diaz does not seem the least bit intimidated in facing Edwards, who is seven years his junior and ranked No. 3 in the official UFC rankings.

“I’ve been fighting for the last 10, 15 years,” Diaz said. “I’ve done it all. I’ve fought all these guys, and done more and done better than anybody. Keeping it real all the way through. I’m like the triathletes, we get better with age. Nobody has stayed on top as long as me, and I’m still headlining shows.

“I’m out there to show people I’ll beat the best of the best. If I’m not going to fight the biggest fight I could possibly find, I’m gonna fight the best fighter that I could possibly find.”

Edwards, who is unbeaten in his past nine fights, obviously thinks he will come out the victor.

“This is a great opportunity to fight Nate, but I am leagues above him in technique and skill set. And it’s a five round fight, he has to survive them 25 minutes,” Edwards said. “My mission is to be world champion. A win over Nate Diaz puts me in line for the world title shot.”

Edwards has only been slightly busier than Diaz. He defeated Rafael dos Anjos by decision in July 2019. COVID-19 and canceled fights kept Edwards on the shelf until March of this year when he faced Belal Muhammad. That fight ended just 18-seconds into the second stanza when an eye poke from Edwards left Muhammad unable to continue.

UFC 263 takes place on June 12 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. The main card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+ and early prelims on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass.

Here is a look at how Edwards and Diaz matchup in important stats ahead of UFC 263.

UFC 263: Edwards vs. Diaz head-to-head

Stat Edwards Diaz
Stat Edwards Diaz
Sig. Strikes Landed Per Min. 2.56 4.62
Striking Accuracy 47% 45%
Strikes Absorbed Per Minute 2.03 3.78
Striking Defense 55% 53%
Takedown Avg./15 min 1.35 1.19
Takedown Accuracy 30% 30%
Takedown Defense 70% 42%
Submission Average Per 15 min 0.4 1.4

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Trent Reinsmith
Trent Reinsmith

Trent Reinsmith is a freelance writer based out of Baltimore, MD. He has been covering sports for more than 15 years, with a focus on MMA for most of that time. Trent focuses on the day-to-day business of MMA — both inside and outside the cage — for Bloody Elbow.

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