Leon Edwards and Nate Diaz are set to make history at UFC 263 when they compete in the first-ever five-round fight that will not be for a title or in the main event slot. Who’ll emerge victorious from this epic main card fight? Let’s see what the LowKickMMA staff think.

Jordan Ellis: As a fellow Englishman I couldn’t be happier to finally see Leon Edwards getting the big fight he deserves. In my opinion he’s the man to really test Karmaru Usman’s grip on the welterweight strap. I expect Edwards to make a statement by stopping Diaz at UFC 263 to prove he is the number one contender at 170lbs.

Prediction: Leon Edwards

Keelin McNamara:  Unfortunately for Nate, I can see the doctor getting involved in this one, similar to the UFC 244 main event against Jorge Masvidal. Nate’s scar tissue is pretty much non-existent at this point, and Leon’s kickboxing is elite – in those 7 minutes against Belal Muhammad, Leon was beating him up and landing at will. I can see something similar happening here. Unfortunately for Nate, I can see a doctor’s stoppage after 3 full rounds and before the beginning of the 4th.

Prediction: Leon Edwards

Maria Morales: It’s still crazy to me that this fight is not a main or co-main event. Anytime that Nate Diaz steps in the cage, you know  two things will be true. The fans will be hyped and, whatever the outcome, Diaz will put on a show.  However, there’s a reason that Leon Edwards is ranked as the #3 welterweight in the world.  Edwards has quietly built a win streak which leaves most scratching their heads as to why he has yet to fight for the title.  And he is dangerous.  An accurate striker, he can also submit you if he chooses to go down to the ground.  And I say chooses because he has great takedown defense, a skill that he will likely utilize the majority of this fight.  Edwards would be foolish to choose to go to the ground with Diaz, a fighter that’s earned submissions in 57% of his victories.  All that said, I believe that Leon Edwards will win the fight.  I think that his power will be enough to cause the damage for a stoppage, though I don’t see him knocking Diaz out.

Prediction: Leon Edwards

Alex Lough: I really don’t see anyway Diaz wins this one. Edwards is an extremely technical and efficient striker who, as we saw in the Muhammad fight, has some power contrary to popular belief. The level of scar tissue Diaz has developed at this point in his career means he’s guaranteed to be cut open early, which means he’ll have trouble finding his range as blood flows into his eyes, and judges will almost always give the round to his opponent based on the amount of damage he received. I guess the UFC made this a 5 round fight in hopes that Diaz can take over late and make things interesting, but we have no reason to believe that Edwards will fade, or that the fight will last that long. Edwards by TKO.

Prediction: Leon Edwards

Ross Markey: I really believe you’ve got to stack the chips on Leon Edwards in this one. He truly is at the peak of his powers right now at the very top of the welterweight division, and in the midst of the best form of his career, against the returning Diaz, it would be quite questionable to favour the latter in this type of matchup. Edwards, stylistically, brings so much more to the table with his creative striking — which is so composed and clinical, as well as his sharp clinch work, which usually allows him to incorporate meaningful elbow strikes on the break. For Diaz, he appears to be in the shape of his recent career, but in regards to ability between these two — they’re easily separable. Edwards to take home a decision win and finally earn his well-overdue title shot.

Prediction: Leon Edwards

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.