The latest UFC 279 odds for Tony Ferguson vs Li Jingliang, are pitting “El Cucuy” as the biggest underdog in his UFC journey so far. Jingliang is ranked no. 14 at 170-pounds and is a big puncher with 8 UFC knockouts on his record.
The UFC 279 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Sept. 10 in Las Vegas, headlined by Chimaev vs Diaz. We review the betting value on Tony, as he moves up to welterweight with a new trainer to take on the always-game Li Jingliang.
Ferguson vs Jingliang Odds
The betting underdog here, Tony Ferguson has odds of +220. You can bet $100 on Tony to net $220 against Jingling. Wagering on the betting favorite here Li Jingaling, offers real value with an implied win probability of 72.2%.
Tony’s record now stands at (25-7), and at 38 years of age, he’s suffered four straight defeats, including last May’s knockout loss against Michael Chandler. Jingliang on the other hand is 34 years old, he’s coming off a technical knockout victory over Muslim Salikhov just last month.
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Ferguson vs Jingliang Prediction for UFC 279
Tony’s UFC journey started at welterweight where he knocked out and finished Ramsey Nijem at the TUF 13 Finale in 2011. After the win, Tony moved down to 155-pounds and went 3-0 in the UFC until he lost to Michael Johnson.
After that loss “El Cucuy” went on his legendary run at lightweight, winning 12 straight fights against some elite-level fighters including Edson Barboza, Kevin Lee, Anthony Pettis Rafael dos Anjos. However, in more recent times the game has caught up with him and he’s lost his last four, stemming from 2020.
Ferguson has also moved training camps to Jackson Wink MMA. A move that was needed on the former interim-lightweight champ.
When Ferguson gets going he has the advantage here with 5.12 significant strikes landed per minute, compared to 4.39 for Li. Their striking defense is even at 58%, which shows they are both hittable and there is a good chance this fight doesn’t go the distance.
Li Jingliang throws heavy leg kicks and has an impressive straight hybrid uppercut. He is a durable fighter and has only been finished once since 2015, by the great Khamzat Chimaev in 2021. I expect Jingliang will apply pressure on Ferguson early in the fight.
Ferguson needs to go back to his basics of mixing up striking with his underrated wrestling. These days he only attempts 0.14 takedowns per 15-minutes, and that strategy could change under the guidance of Jackson Wink.
Will Tony Ferguson have the chin to exchange with the top-15 fighters at welterweight? It doesn’t bode well looking at his last few fights, Li is a heavy hitter and a loss here could stop Ferguson in his tracks from continuing at his old weight class.
I see a scenario here where Li implements some of the same strategies that Justin Gaethje did, aiming to catch Ferguson as he’s moving laterally and catching him enough times to score a late TKO.
Betting Pick: Li Jingliang