There are events that matter for the championship and fight cards that are just for fun. UFC 279 is very obviously the second one.
Khamzat Chimaev (11-0) was going to risk his perfect professional record against Nate Diaz (20-13), one of the most popular mixed martial artists of all time, in a five-round welterweight main event on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The early preliminary matches start at 6 p.m. ET, and the main card begins at 10 p.m.
Unfortunately. At the weigh-ins on Friday, Chimaev came in at 178.5 pounds, 7.5 pounds more than he should have been. Because of the chaotic turn of events, the whole main card is in limbo.
Khamzat didn’t make weight, so the card was changed. Longtime lightweight Tony Ferguson moved up to fight Diaz in the main event, while Chimaev moved down to fight Kevin Holland in the co-main event. Holland’s opponent, Daniel Rodriguez, is taking on Li Jingliang, who was supposed to fight Tony Ferguson. Simple as mud?
Okbet Sports betting Philippines has updated the odds for UFC 279. Ferguson is now the favorite to win the main event.
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UFC 279 Betting Notes
The UFC is lucky that Ferguson is moving up to the welterweight division for this card, so putting him in the main event is a great idea. “El Cucuy” has lost his last four fights. This is the first time in his 32-fight career that he has lost back-to-back fights.
Diaz, who is 37 years old, made his Octagon debut in 2007 and is now at the end of his UFC career. Diaz has only fought four times since losing to Conor McGregor at UFC 202. He hasn’t been doing well in the fight game. The southpaw has lost two of his last three fights. His most recent loss was to Leon Edwards, who is the current welterweight champion. Diaz was a +350 underdog in that fight.
OKBet UFC 279: Diaz vs Ferguson Odds
Bet on sports online Ferguson is a slight favorite with a -130 odds, while Diaz is a slight underdog with a +110 odds.
Anton Turkalj is a +500 underdog in his fight against Jailton Almeida in the prelims. This makes him the biggest underdog on the whole card.
The odds are the closest in the first fight of the night, between welterweights Darian Weeks (-120) and Yohan Lainesse (EVEN). They will try to get things off to a good start.
UFC 279 OKBet Betting Odds & Fight Card
UFC 279 Betting Lines And Fight Card
- Main Card
- Welterweight – Nate Diaz (+110) vs Tony Ferguson (-130)
- Welterweight – Khamzat Chimaev (-600) vs Kevin Holland (+425)
- Catchweight – Li Jingliang (+135) vs Daniel Rodriguez (-155)
- Women’s Bantamweight – Irene Aldana (-162) vs Macy Chiasson (+142)
- Light Heavyweight – Ion Cutelaba (-220) vs Johnny Walker (+185)
- Featherweight – Hakeem Dawodu (-220) vs Julian Erosa (+185)
- Catchweight – Jailton Almeida (-700) vs Anton Turkalj (+500)
- Middleweight – Jamie Pickett (-128) vs Denis Tiuliulin (+108)
- Heavyweight – Jake Collier (-500) vs Chris Barnett (+375)
- Women’s Featherweight – Norma Dumont (-425) vs Danyelle Wolf (+325)
- Bantamweight – Heili Alateng (-158) vs Chad Anheliger (+138)
- Women’s Strawweight – Melissa Martinez (-175) vs Elise Reed (+150)
- Welterweight – Darian Weeks (-116) vs Yohan Lainesse (-104)
UFC 279: Diaz Vs Ferguson Broadcast Information
- Date/Time: September 10, 6 p.m. ET
- Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
- Arena: T-Mobile Arena
- Where to Watch: ESPN+, PPV
Nate Diaz vs. Tony Ferguson OKBet Odds and Pick
Diaz isn’t a favorite of sportsbooks. Still, this line is much easier to understand than the +700 odds he would have faced if he had taken on Chimaev. The Californian has been the underdog in eight straight fights, and his last time as the favorite was in 2013 when Josh Thomson stopped him in Round 2 and he lost.
Those who wanted to bet on Ferguson as a dog against the Leech may be disappointed to see him move up to the main event as a favorite. When El Cucuy fought Charles Oliveira at UFC 256 in 2020, he was the betting favorite.
Need To Know Diaz
In contrast to his 10 decision defeats, Diaz has only been defeated three times in his professional career. He is simple to defeat on the scoreboard, simple to cut (because to his infamously delicate face scar tissue), yet difficult to completely subdue. Both in terms of attitude and approach in the Octagon, Diaz is nagging like a fly. In his most recent battle with Edwards, he lingered just long enough to identify the Englishman and severely tag him in the closing seconds.
Diaz’s annoying personality and southpaw tilt may make things difficult for Ferguson. The Stockton native is renowned for his sloppy, loose fighting style, which not only enhances his “gangster” reputation but also lights up his adversaries’ eyes. Diaz will maintain a low guard, practically inviting opponents to drill him. Ferguson can be kept at bay with a short jab from Diaz if he chooses to get into the attacking area. On the ground, the 37-year-old employs similar tactics, occasionally loitering in half guard before tempting opponents into a submission.
The last four fighters to defeat Diaz all had title opportunities right away (Edwards, Jorge Masvidal, Conor McGregor, Rafael dos Anjos). This could be a fantastic opportunity for 209’s gangster to depart the UFC with a victory since Ferguson is extremely unlikely to waltz into a championship.
In his most recent three fights, Diaz faced Anthony Pettis, Edwards, and Masvidal, losing all three by unanimous decision (win – unanimous decision).
Ferguson: What You Must Know
Ferguson and all of his supporters, who have followed the adored villain from his days on The Ultimate Fighter, have endured two devastating years. El Cucu has suffered four straight defeats, two of which ended in stoppages, raising questions about how much the 38-year-old still has left in the tank. Ferguson’s slide began as a steady slope, but at UFC 274, Michael Chandler mercilessly put an end to him with an iron front kick.
Ferguson returns to the welterweight division in this bout for the first time since his tenure on The Ultimate Fighter in 2011. With the intention of finding himself, Tony has switched gyms and is now aiming for a general “refresh” strategy. It is believed that gaining weight will increase his stamina as he fights opponents who are unfamiliar with his clumsy, rangy fighting technique.
Ferguson lost his most recent three fights to knockout losses to Chandler, Beneil Dariush, and Charles Oliveira (loss – unanimous decision).
OKBet Pick: Ferguson by KO/TKO (+235); UNDER 4.5 Rounds (-110)
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Khamzat Chimaev vs Kevin Holland OKBet Odds & Pick
Kevin Holland (23-7) will square off against Khamzat Chimaev (11-0) in a catchweight bout at 180 pounds in the co-main event. These two had some beef in the fighter’s hotel at an event last year and that animosity continued ahead of the UFC 279 press conference in which the two had an altercation that canceled the event. Expect fireworks when the cage door closes.
Chimaev: Need to Knows
The 28-year-old is coming off a fight vs Burns at UFC 273 in which he was pushed to his limits … and succeeded. The Brazilian brutalized Chimaev, pushing him past the second round for the first time in his career. We saw Khamzat get hurt but persevere. His wrestling, his endurance and his striking all held up.
Chimaev is likely to have a significant size advantage in this fight despite Holland fighting at 185 at the beginning of his UFC career. Last year, in an interview with ESPN, “Borz” revealed he got his “walking around” weight as high as 205 pounds, though it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Chimaev is much more imposing than the slender Holland.
Given the size discrepancy, expect Chimaev to throw punches with more power and smother Holland in wrestling exchanges.
The Wolf may not need to level change in this bout, but if he does, he should have no problem securing a takedown in this fight. The American is not great at defending takedowns (66%). While some of that ugly percentage comes from being comfortable fighting off his back, Diaz may find himself powerless against Chimaev’s bull-like forward momentum. If Holland manages to clip Khamzat with a shot, the Chechen can comfortably transition toward the ground without the fear of a vulnerable position coming from a denial.
Chimaev’s last three fights were against Burns (win – unanimous decision), Jingliang Li (win – submission) and Gerald Meerschaert (win – knockout).
Pick: Chimaev Inside The Distance (+140)
Li Jingliang vs Daniel Rodriguez OKBet Odds & Pick
A catchweight fight between Jingliang Li (19-7) and Daniel Rodriguez is the night’s main event (16-2).
Jingliang has a four-match winning streak, however his most recent victory came against Muslim Salikhov through second-round knockout. Only a decision loss to Nicolas Dalby at UFC 255 has stopped Rodriguez’s winning streak, which now stands at three matches and 12 of his past 13.
Need To Know About Jingliang
It should be exciting to watch Jingliang take on Rodriguez, another puncher with one-punch knockout power. “The Leech” can employ the occasional hook kick, possesses very heavy left and right hands, and enjoys launching powerful power shots into the opponent’s grill (see his KO over Muslim Salikhov). There aren’t many welterweights who are as deadly in the pocket as Jingliang.
Rodriguez is underweight in this fight, which means Jingliang will be at a weight disadvantage. To gain the upper hand later in the fight, he may need to use a lot of footwork and tempo. Although the Leech does good work in the clinch, bridging the gap puts him in serious peril.
Salikhov, Chimaev, and Santiago Ponzinibbio were Jingliang’s last three opponents. Salikhov won by technical knockout, while Ponzinibbio lost by submission (win – knockout).
Need To Know About Rodriguez
The boulder-like “D-Rod” walks with caution in the Octagon and has a powerful arsenal when he unleashes it. The powerful southpaw’s left hand, as well as the tree-chopping leg kicks he so frequently uses to weaken his opponent’s foundation, are both significant weapons. He used those two elements to defeat his previous adversary Kevin Lee, and they will be essential to his success against Jingliang.
Rodriguez produces an incredible eight significant strikes or more every minute, so it will be interesting to see if losing weight has any effect on his productivity. The California native has been knocked down five times in his last three fights and three times in his most recent match, but he only succeeds in 76 percent of his takedown attempts, so the Leech might have some trouble keeping this fight standin
Rodriguez’s previous three contests were victories over Lee (unanimous decision), Preston Parson (technical knockout victory), and Mike Perry (win – decision).
Pick: Rodriguez By Decision (+145)
Irene Aldana vs Macy Chiasson OKBet Odds & Pick
Bantamweights Irene Aldana (13-6) and Macy Chiasson (8-2) will square off for a maximum of three rounds in the lone women’s fight on the main card.
Chiasson: Important Information
Chiasson isn’t a particularly well-known UFC fighter, but after this Saturday, MMA fans will be familiar with her name. The Louisiana native is a physical specimen with a good reach and a strong motor in the cage, at five feet eleven inches tall. Chiasson has won 60% of her professional fights (four KO/TKO, two SUB). Because of her penchant to stand and bang and the caliber of Aldana, this bout is a clever choice to end inside the distance (+120).
Concerns about Chiasson’s cardiovascular system exist. Throughout her career, she has occasionally failed to make weight and has alternated between the bantamweight and featherweight weight classes on the roster. It has becoming increasingly difficult to forecast what we’ll receive from Macy on any given night due to scale mishaps and training setbacks. Her matchup with Raquel Pennington in December 2021 serves as a good illustration of this. Chiasson appeared out of sorts in Round 2 after dominating Pennington in Round 1 as she walked back toward the cage and eventually lost via guillotine choke, where she looked quite worn out.
Norma Dumont (won by split decision), Pennington (loss by submission), and Marion Reneau were the 31-year-most old’s recent opponents (win – unanimous decision).
Aldana: What You Should Know
Aldana will enter UFC 279 hoping to deliver another spectacular finish after a 14-month absence. The Mexican is an exceptional boxer for her weight class, and she can stop dynamic strikers simply by using excellent technique. Aldana dodged a few spinning backfists during her fight with Yana Kunitskaya at UFC 264 before catching the Russian with a quick left hand. Her opponent was knocked out by ground and pound after taking a severe beating. Chiasson is more dynamic than Aldana in terms of strike size and variety, but that does not necessarily give him an advantage.
It will be crucial to see how Aldana cuts the gap. She will pop out of her guard with precise shots because to her upright stance, but a fighter with a longer reach will counteract this tactic (Chiasson has a 3.5-inch advantage). Chiasson’s aggression might lead to a toe-to-toe striking contest, similar to how the Mexican fought Holly Holm at UFC Fight Island 4. It’s possible that Aldana will bob and pick her times to strike. We like Aldana in the case where both fighters are dealing.
The 34-year-most old’s recent three fights were against Ketlen Vieira (loss by unanimous decision), Holm (won by technical knockout), and Kunitskaya (win – knockout).
Pick: Aldana by KO/TKO (+375)
Johnny Walker vs Ion Cutelaba OKBet Odds & Pick
The opening match on the main show features light heavyweights Johnny Walker (18-7) and Ion Cutelaba in an entertaining contest (16-7-1).
Need to Know Walker
Walker’s flower, once hailed as a potential title challenger, has faded over the past two years.
He suffered four defeats in his previous five fights until being cartoonishly knocked out by Jamahal Hill in February.
His chin is a major issue at this time.
If he can’t sort it out at UFC 279, this could be the end of the road for Walker, who may be a release candidate.
That puts the 30-year old in a terrible situation because he could really use some patience in his play, especially against a physical opponent like Cutelaba, but he also can’t afford another subpar effort.
Walker may be knocked out if he charges out of the gate like his opponent enjoys doing.
However, he’ll want to fight now that he’s in the spotlight, so we anticipate this fight to end quickly (-310)
Walker’s most recent contests included losses to Ryan Spann (by unanimous decision), Hill (by knockout), and Thiago Santos (win – technical knockout).
Cutelaba: Important Information
The UFC has done some deft matchmaking here. Both athletes are going through difficult times and, in a sense, are fighting for their lives as far as their value to the UFC roster is concerned. Walker has three career UFC stoppages within the opening two minutes, whereas Cutelaba enjoys banging. Walker is far more threatening in the initial few minutes, even though Cutelaba is persistent in his own right. Cutelaba has a significant advantage if the fight lasts through Round 1.
In this fight, Cutelaba’s wrestling might—and, to be honest, ought—should play a role, but it all depends on whether the Moldovan feels like employing it. Walker has a seven-inch reach advantage, is stronger, and has considerable physical advantages on paper. If Cutelaba were intelligent, he would understand this and switch to his ground game. The problem is that “The Hulk” enjoys performing, even at the price of his own health.
The 28-year-old had victories over Devin Clark (by unanimous decision), Dustin Jacoby, and Ryan Spann in his last three fights (split draw).
Pick: Cutelaba (-210); OVER 1.5 Rounds (+127)
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