Leon Edwards vs Nate Diaz will go ahead this weekend at UFC 263. The fight will be the first time, a non-title fight will be for five rounds in the history of the UFC. The event is headlined by a title fight (middleweight) between Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori, with the co-main event being another title fight (flyweight) between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno.
With just a few days left for the fight, Leon Edwards spoke to MMA fighting about fighting Nate Diaz. Edwards claimed that the ‘Stockton Slugger’ wouldn’t last the entire five rounds with him. The Brit claimed that a finish was in store, come the 12th of June.
‘I fought Rafael dos Anjos with five rounds‘ – Leon Edwards
Edwards was quoted as saying, “I’m better with five rounds than three. That’s what my coaches say anyway. I’ve been preparing for five rounds now for a long time. I fought Rafael dos Anjos with five rounds, ‘Cowboy’ for five rounds, I was preparing for Usman in March, I was preparing for Khamzat for five rounds, I prepared for Belal Muhammad for five rounds.” [via MMA Fighting]
He continued, “As far as preparation goes, five rounds, I’ve been preparing for a long time and I’m confident in my cardio, confident in my skillset and [it’s] going to be even worse for him going in there...I’m going in here to stop him. I don’t think he can take as much as they think he could over five rounds. I know he’s probably relying on me getting tired and like I said with Masvidal, he’s going to climb on top of him for [rounds] four and five.” [via MMA Fighting]
Diaz is making a return to the UFC, after almost 2 years. He last fought Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244 for the BMF title in November 2019. On the other hand, Edwards is coming off a no-contest (due to an eye-poke) against Belal Muhammad, earlier this year in March. Barring this NC, the Brit has literally been unstoppable having not lost since 2015. He is on an eight-match win streak.