Headlined by the Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori rematch, UFC 263 features 14 total fights and two title bouts. This weekly Fight Analysis article will analyze every matchup on the card. Below, you’ll find data-driven analysis for each matchup and a pick to win. This, along with Awesemo’s expert MMA DFS projections, Top Fighters Tool, and UFC DFS premium ownership projections will help us make the most informed UFC DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel MMA lineups.
UFC 263: Adesanya vs Vettori MMA DFS Picks
Adesanya vs. Vettori
The long-awaited rematch between Adesanya and Vettori has finally arrived in UFC 263’s featured bout. Adesanya enters this fight after suffering the first loss of his career to light-heavyweight champ Jan Blachowicz. Meanwhile, Vettori enters this bout on a five-fight winning streak. His last loss came back in 2018 to none other than Adesanya. In their first fight, Adesanya held the striking advantage 57 to 46. While Vettori added a pair of takedowns, he struggled to keep Adesanya on the mat. The fight ended in split-decision, but Adesanya looked like the clear winner. From a stylistic perspective, Adesanya is one of the most accomplished kickboxers in the entire UFC. While he struggled with takedowns against Blachowicz in his most recent fight, he will not be at as much of a size disadvantage against Vettori. Vettori has made considerable strides as a mixed martial artist. In his second-most recent fight, he showed striking improvements with 164 significant strikes against Jack Hermansson. Next, he out grappled Kevin Holland, notching 11 takedowns on his way to a decision win. Adesanya still has a striking edge, but Vettori’s best path to victory looks like his takedowns and wrestling. However, Adesanya’s 78% takedown defense could make this a difficult task. For DFS purposes, getting two studs from the three five-round fights makes sense. Among the underdogs in the five round bouts, Vettori looks like one of the top salary savers at $6,900 due to his wrestling potential. However, Adesanya has already successfully defended takedowns against some of the division’s top grapplers. For that reason, the pick is Adesanya in this matchup.
UFC DFS Pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Adesanya ($9,300)
Figueiredo vs. Moreno
Another long-awaited rematch, Brandon Moreno takes on Deiveson Figueiredo for the flyweight title. Previously fighting in December, the original bout ended in a draw after Figueiredo lost a point for groin strikes. Without the point deduction, Figueiredo wins via decision. In the actual bout, Figueiredo out-struck Moreno 137-132, while Moreno landed four takedowns to Figueiredo’s two. A short-notice fight for both fighters, Figueiredo actually had to remain in the United States rather than travel back to his home country of Brazil for a full camp. Figueiredo has legitimate power for a flyweight, with a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Prior to his draw against Moreno, Figueiredo had finished each of his last four opponents. This included a pair of first round submissions against Joseph Benavidez and Alex Perez in title bouts. Meanwhile, Moreno may not have the finishing potential of Figueiredo, but his volume continues to overwhelm opponents. As the first fight wore on, Moreno chipped away at Figueiredo, winning rounds towards the end. Despite both fighters holding Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts, the first bout played out mainly standing. From a DFS perspective, this fight does not look like one to skip. Both fighters throw with considerable volume and power for flyweights. Among the five round fights, Moreno has the shortest odds among the underdogs. Between the odds and his volume, the Mexican fighter looks like an ideal upset candidate in GPPs. However, Figueiredo’s knockout potential and well-rounded game are too much for Moreno here. Figueiredo successfully defends his title and is the pick.
UFC DFS Pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Figueiredo ($9,100)
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Edwards vs. Diaz
Leon Edwards will take on Nate Diaz in a five-round featured bout on the main card. An interesting journey to this point, Edwards recently fought Belal Muhammad in a no contest on March 13th of this year. Prior to that bout, Edwards held an eight-fight win streak, but hadn’t fought since July of 2019. Firmly ranked inside the top five, Edwards has put together one of the most well-rounded games at welterweight. Edwards isn’t always the most aggressive fighter. He averages 2.56 significant strikes per minute and 1.35 takedowns per bout. Despite his lack of volume, his diverse background creates a slew of problems for Diaz. Diaz enters this fight at age 36 (seven years older than Edwards). He hasn’t fought since 2019 and has just two fights under his belt since 2016. While Diaz has elite cardio and sneaky jiu-jitsu, he often leaves himself exposed to takedowns and leg kicks. While Diaz hasn’t been submitted since 2006, his 42% takedown defense creates an immediate path for Edwards to win rounds. Diaz has also been known to accept considerable damage throughout his recent career. Jorge Masvidal landed 112 significant strikes in three rounds against Diaz, while Conor McGregor landed 164 in five rounds. A more technical striker than Masvidal, Edwards has a striking advantage here. As for DFS, Edwards looks like one of the top pay-up options on this slate. Already sitting at -575 to win, Edwards is also -110 to win inside the distance. While the $9,500 price tag is enormous, Edwards looks capable of a strong performance here.
UFC DFS Pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Edwards ($9,500)
Maia vs. Muhammad
Fighting at 43 years old in the last fight on his contract, this could be the last UFC fight for Demian Maia. Holder of numerous records, Maia now finds himself matched up against Belal Muhammad. Prior to his short notice no-contest against Leon Edwards, Muhammad had tallied a four-fight winning streak. This included recent victories over Lyman Good and Dhiego Lima. On the other side, Maia took a full year off after a knockout loss to Gilbert Burns in 2020. One of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners of his generation, Maia has the clear advantage on the mat here. Maia averages 2.55 takedowns on average, but he sometimes struggles to get his opponents to the mat. With Maia holding 26% takedown accuracy, Muhammad should be able to rely on his 85% takedown defense to keep this fight standing. On the other side, Muhammad has a well-rounded game, but his edge comes via striking. Muhammad lands 4.75 significant strikes per minute, but he lacks notable stopping power. Muhammad has four knockout wins in his professional career, but only one of his nine UFC wins has occurred via knockout. Still the fifth-most aggressive striker on this card, Muhammad has a clear path to victory over Maia. As it stands, this fight is -170 to go to a decision, making volume more important. At -225 to win, Muhammad’s $9,000 price tag looks a bit inflated given the chance for a finish in this spot. With other five round fights in this price range, this may be a fight to ignore outside of large field tournaments. For those interested in Maia, an early submission would be his path to the optimal lineup. The pick is Muhammad as the younger fighter with the more well-rounded game.
UFC DFS Pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Muhammad ($9,000)
Craig vs. Hill
Kicking off the main event, Paul Craig takes on Jamahal Hill in a light heavyweight matchup. Craig enters this bout on a two-fight winning streak after finishing Mauricio Rua and Gadzhimurad Antigulov last year. On the other side, Hill sits at 3-0-1 in the UFC after his fourth victory was deemed a no contest due a positive marijuana test. Another clash of styles, Craig does his best work on the mat, while Hill has some of the division’s top striking. Of Craig’s six UFC victories, five occurred via submission. However, for someone with sneaky jiu-jitsu, his wrestling has given him problems at times. Craig averages 2.11 takedowns on average but has just 26% takedown accuracy. This has allowed him to get clipped and knocked out at various points in his UFC Career. This will be interesting against Hill, who has 53% takedown defense. Hill was taken down six times by Darko Stosic in early 2020 but hasn’t faced a takedown attempt in two fights since. If Hill can keep this fight standing, he has the power to put Craig away. Three of Hill’s four UFC fights finished with knockout victories and Hill already throws with incredible volume. “Sweet Dreams” averages 7.90 significant strikes per minute, while absorbing only 3.15. Craig has already been knocked out by Khalil Rountree and Alonzo Menifield in his career. With superior striking to both, Hill has a clear advantage on the feet. For DFS, this fight looks interesting. +215 to go to a decision, Hill is actually -135 to finish this fight inside the distance. However, his $9,400 price tag has immense opportunity cost with numerous five-round fights on the card. Very few of Craig’s fights make it to decision as well, putting him in the underdogs with upside category. While Hill’s price is prohibitive, he is the pick here over Scotland’s Craig.
UFC DFS Pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Hill ($9,400)
Dober vs. Riddell
The featured fight on the prelims, Drew Dober takes on New Zealand’s Brad Riddell. A pair of fighters at different points in their careers, Dober lost his most recent fight against Islam Makhachev earlier this year. Meanwhile, Riddell has quietly tallied a three-fight winning streak on his way to Dober. A true striker’s paradise, this fight projects to spend little time on the mat. Dober is one of the more aggressive strikers on this card, landing 4.33 significant strikes per minute with 40% accuracy. In fact, Dober hasn’t attempted a takedown in six straight fights. His last takedowns came against Jon Tuck, where he worked ground-and-pound over submission attempts. On the other hand, Riddell also prefers striking. Regularly training with Adesanya, Riddell represents a unique challenge for Dober. Slightly less aggressive, Riddell lands 4.36 significant strikes per minute with 50% accuracy. However, Riddell has a technical advantage as a striker. On top of his striking, Riddell has actually landed a takedown in each of his three UFC fights. While Riddell lands only 37% of his takedowns, Dober has displayed weaknesses on the mat. Dober has 55% takedown defense, with three submission losses on his record. With both fighters showing solid pace and aggression, this is an interesting fight for DFS purposes. Riddell also has some of the shortest odds among the underdogs on this card. Sitting at +125, Riddell’s volume and finish potential make him a solid target in this fight. As the more technical striker, Riddell is the pick.
UFC DFS Pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Riddell ($7,700)
Anders vs. Stewart
The card’s third rematch, Eryk Anders faces Darren Stewart after their first bout ended in a no-contest. The previous bout occurred in March of this year and ended when Anders threw an illegal knee. Prior to the stoppage, Anders pieced up Stewart with his striking and wrestling. Anders landed 43 significant strikes to Stewart’s 15, while holding a 3-0 takedown edge. Anders also displayed his power, knocking Stewart down with a power shot. Anders has eight-career knockouts with three coming at the UFC level. Similarly, Stewart had success with his striking early in the fight as well. Stewart landed a clean shot at the beginning of the fight, before Anders recovered after a few minutes of clinch work. Similar to Anders, a majority of Stewart’s wins come via knockout. Neither fighter throws with considerable pace, but both have stopping power. While both fighters tend to keep fights standing, Anders also appears to have an edge on the mat. For DFS purposes, Stewart again fits the mold of an underdog with upside. Considering the likelihood of a stoppage, this fight should be circled for DFS. However, the former Alabama football player in Eryk Anders is the pick after all but winning the first match between these opponents.
UFC DFS Pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Anders ($8,600)
Murphy vs. Calderwood
Heading to the women’s flyweight division, Lauren Murphy and Joanne Calderwood meet as two potential title contenders within the division. Both reaching the later stages of their career, Murphy enters this fight at age 37, while Calderwood is 34. Murphy enters this bout on a four-fight winning streak, featuring two finishes. On the other side, Calderwood sits at 1-1 in her most recent fights with a decision win over Jessica Eye earlier this year. The year prior, however, Calderwood had her chance at the flyweight title. However, she decided to remain active and subsequently lost to Jennifer Maia via submission. Calderwood’s main weapon is strong striking, particularly in the clinch. From a DFS perspective, Calderwood lands 6.59 significant strikes per minute with 49% accuracy. Murphy absorbs more strikes than she inflicts, but she also throws with considerable volume. Murphy also has advantages on the ground. She lands 1.18 takedowns on average with 37% accuracy. While she only has one submission victory on the resume, she may attempt to go this route after Calderwood displayed weaknesses on the ground against Maia. Calderwood’s 58% takedown defense also creates a path for Murphy to win rounds in the event of a decision. For DFS purposes, this fight might be one to ignore outside of large field GPP’s. At $8,200, Calderwood throws with enough volume to pay off her salary. At $8,200, she also is slightly cheaper than other fighters with similar odds to win in this price range. Meanwhile, Murphy throws with less volume and sits with a more expensive price tag than other underdogs in her price range. For an official pick, Murphy’s advantages on the mat are too much for Calderwood. However, for DFS purposes Calderwood looks like the superior fighter to target based on upside.
UFC DFS Pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Murphy ($8,000)
Evloev vs. Dawodu
Kicking off the prelims, Movsar Evloev will look to remain unbeaten against Hakeem Dawodu in the featherweight division. Evloev now sits at 4-0 in the UFC with two impressive wins over Nik Lentz and Mike Grundy within the last year. While all of Evloev’s UFC victories ended in decisions, he fights with considerable pace. As a striker, Evloev averages 4.70 significant strikes per minute, hitting at least 71 in each of his last three fights. On the mat, Evloev averages 2.75 takedowns with 37% accuracy. On the other side, Dawodu enters this bout on a five-fight winning streak himself. Unlike Evloev, Dawodu relies entirely on his hands. Dawodu has only attempted one takedown in six UFC fights, giving the wrestling advantage to Evloev. However, Dawodu throws with considerable volume on his feet. Dawodu averages 5.15 significant strikes per minute, with 47% accuracy. However, both fighters have notable defensive strengths. Dawodu defends takedowns at 85%, while Evloev has 64% striking defense. Despite Dawodu’s takedown defense, Evloev presents his most difficult challenge yet. With better wrestling and a strong standup game, Evloev has the advantage in this fight. However, at $9,200, Evloev is more expensive than Figueiredo and Muhammad. With the entire fight -245 to get to a decision, this doesn’t look like the best spot to target for UFC DFS outside of large field tournaments. As the superior wrestler, Evloev retains his undefeated record in this match.
UFC DFS Pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Evloev ($9,200)
Kianzad vs. Davis
The featured bout on the early prelims, Pannie Kianzad faces off against one-time title challenger Alexis Davis. Two fighters at different points in their career, Kianzad is 29 years old on a three-fight winning streak. Meanwhile, Davis is 36 and sits at 1-3 in her most recent fights. While this fight is the most likely to get to a decision on this card (-320), both fighters have displayed solid volume. For Kianzad, she lands 5.14 significant strikes per minute. Davis has shown vulnerability against strikers in the past and absorbs exactly as many strikes as she inflicts. Now a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Kianzad has made considerable strides on the mat. However, she lands just 0.22 takedowns on average without any submission victories. On the other side, Davis has just 34% takedown defense, but she’s displayed her jiu-jitsu blackbelt throughout her career. Davis has eight wins via submission, but only one occurred at the UFC level. For DFS purposes, Kianzad’s volume looks solid, but her lack of finishing ability makes her a middling play overall. As for Davis, she also lacks an ability to finish fights, making other underdogs potentially more intriguing. Kianzad is the official pick in the featured bout on the early prelims.
UFC DFS Pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Kianzad ($8,800)
McKinney vs. Frevola
After a car accident caused Frank Camacho to withdraw from this bout, Terrance McKinney accepted a short notice fight against Matt Frevola. Making his UFC debut, McKinney fought just last week, earning a knockout victory over Michael Irizarry in LFA. McKinney has a 10-3 professional record but faced some notable competition in his career. McKinney fell to Sean Woodson on Dana White’s Contender Series back in 2019. He also lost to future UFC fighter Darrick Minner. In his bout against Woodson, McKinney displayed his wrestling prowess and strengths on the ground. He took down Woodson and controlled him for the majority of round 1. While McKinney only absorbed four significant strikes in that fight, Woodson dazed him on multiple occasions. McKinney’s best asset here will be his wrestling ability after being a JUCO All-American in college. Since losing those two fights, he has rattled off three straight wins with his move up to 155 pounds. On the other side, Frevola enters the UFC octagon for the seventh time. Frevola lost his most recent fight to Arman Tsarukyan but gave up 10 takedowns in the process. Averaging 2.59 takedowns per bout himself, Frevola found himself outmatched by Tsarukyan. Primarily a wrestler himself, Frevola has landed multiple takedowns in four of his six UFC fights. Frevola has faced better competition in his career and still benefits from the short-notice nature of this bout. At $8,900, he actually looks like one of the better value studs on this card. He hasn’t displayed much finish potential at the UFC level to date, but a short notice opponent with a similar fight style works in his favor here.
UFC DFS Pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Frevola ($8,900)
Hooper vs. Peterson
A fan favorite bout, Chase Hooper faces Steven Peterson coming off a lengthy layoff. Peterson’s last fight occurred in September of 2019. He battled multiple injuries during his time off, but finally finds himself at full health here. First, Peterson finds himself at a considerable size disadvantage, ceding three inches in height and four inches in reach to Hooper. He also has a checkered UFC career with a 2-4 record. Positively, Peterson is extremely aggressive. He is the third-most aggressive striker with 4.65 significant strikes landed per minute. This also shows up in his striking defense, where he absorbs 5.89 strikes per minute. He is also the fourth-most aggressive wrestler with 2.02 takedowns on average. While the wrestling is solid for UFC DFS purposes, getting this fight to the mat may not be in Peterson’s best interests. Hooper’s best asset is his slick ground game. He continues to develop as a striker, but his 10-1-1 professional record features five submissions. Hooper actually throws 4.43 significant strikes per minute, but he still is far below average as a striker. Hooper to work jiu-jitsu and also struggles with offensive wrestling at times. Hooper averages 0.32 takedowns on average, but he has just 7% accuracy. From a DFS perspective, Hooper looks likely to be one of the more popular underdogs on this card. The betting lines continue to move in his favor, and he is +170 to finish this fight in the distance. However, the fight starts standing. With poor striking, Hooper likely struggles if he can’t get this fight to the mat. Peterson is the official pick, but both fighters have paths to victory.
UFC DFS Pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Peterson ($8,400)
Ziam vs. Vendramini
An interesting bout between two lightweight prospects, Fares Ziam takes on Luigi Vendramini in the second bout on UFC 263. Both fighters enter this contest with 1-1 UFC records, and both won their most recent bout. Only 26 years old, Ziam took his first UFC fight on short notice against Don Madge. A tough evaluation at this point, Ziam hasn’t exactly shown solid aggression in his two UFC fights. However, he has also been controlled for over six minutes in each of his two UFC fights. Ziam has also allowed five and three takedowns despite his 65% takedown defense. From a striking perspective, Ziam throws only 1.90 significant strikes per minute. However, Ziam is a former kickboxing champion. He excels at striking from range, which could cause Vendramini problems. Vendramini absorbs exactly as many strikes as he inflicts. On the other side, Vendramini has dealt with numerous setbacks in his short career. Only 25 years old, Vendramini recently returned to the octagon with a win over Jessin Ayari in October of last year. Previously, he hadn’t fought since 2018 due to a pair of ACL tears. Vendramini also debuted in 2018 up a weight class against Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos. Vendramini typically relies on his ground game, despite going 0-6 on his takedown attempts at the UFC level. Vendramini also constantly hunts finishes, averaging 2.0 submission attempts per bout. For DFS purposes, this fight has sneaky upside at affordable price tags. Neither fighter has displayed their true potential in the cage, making this a potential GPP darling. With Ziam struggling against grapplers in the past, Vendramini is the official pick here.
UFC DFS Pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Vendramini ($7,900)
Felipe vs. Collier
Kicking off UFC 263, the night opens with a heavyweight bout between Carlos Felipe and Jake Collier. After losing his debut to Sergey Spivak, Felipe has now rattled off back-to-back wins. On the other side, the former middleweight is 1-1 after a three-year hiatus with the UFC. Like many heavyweight fights, this projects to be a pure standup affair. Since his return to the UFC, Collier has not attempted a takedown. On the other side, Felipe is 0-1 on takedown attempts in his three fights. From a striking perspective, Collier showed solid volume in his most recent fight. He lands 4.92 significant strikes per minute, which should work to his advantage. Felipe is also a volume striker with 4.42 significant strikes per minute, but he has a negative striking differential and just 47% defense. Both fighters tend to let their bouts reach decision, but both have displayed knockout power in the past. While Collier has undergone an immense physical transformation, he also has experience on his side. With his output, there is a decent chance that Collier simply overwhelms Felipe. At $7,500 Collier looks interesting as an underdog. Felipe has too much opportunity cost at his $8,700 price tag. With the volatility of a low-level heavyweight fight, Collier is the official pick here as the underdog.
UFC DFS Pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Collier ($7,500)
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