UFC 279 Predictions

UFC 279 Odds

*Update: Nate Diaz will take on Tony Ferguson at UFC 279 – read our Diaz vs Ferguson odds to find out more. Also, the co-main is now Chimaev vs Holland.

The long-awaited final fight of Nate Diaz’s contract with the UFC is here as the fan favorite will headline UFC 279 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Diaz stepped up as a massive underdog against the emerging new star attraction Khamzat Chimaev.

From a UFC betting prediction perspective, there are a lot of interesting fights and picks to choose from this event. Check out these UFC betting sites to get that latest UFC 279 predictions come fight night.

Filling out the rest of the UFC 279 main card is a list of well-known names as the theme of the event appears to be veteran fighters looking to climb back up the rankings in their respective divisions. Tony Ferguson takes on Li Jingliang in the co-main event in a welterweight clash while Johnny Walker faces Ion Cuțelaba in light heavyweight action to open the main card.

UFC 279 Predictions

The betting odds for UFC 279 are interesting albeit challenging for bettors looking for good value in the main events. Due to the overwhelming likelihood of Khamzat Chimaev defeating Nate Diaz, there is not much value in backing the favorite unless it is on the UFC prop betting market.

For example, for those who think Chimaev will make quick work out of an overmatched Diaz, the Under 1.5 rounds at +125 odds from DraftKings is significantly better value than laying the up to -1600 odds on Chimaev moneyline.

In fact, the favorites in each of the main card fights are all priced as heavy favorites in the betting odds. Ion Cutelaba sitting at -200 as the favorite with the highest return for bettors looking to back the favorites at UFC 279.

With short odds for all of the favorites, bettors looking for more enticing returns will either have to identify which underdogs will muster an upset or examine the prop market for better values. UFC parlays are also an option with so many overwhelming favorites to stack up on the card but are a riskier option for bettors than straight-up, single wagers.

Diaz vs Chimaev Prediction

It is difficult to honestly break down this fight if you are someone who has followed Nate Diaz over the course of his storied UFC career. Nearly every single person who follows the sport of mixed martial arts wants to see Diaz finish his UFC contract out on top and leave the organization with his hand held high.

Unfortunately, the matchup in this fight provides as close to zero chance of that happy ending happening as you can get as the UFC did Diaz no favors in pairing him against Khamzat Chimaev. Chimaev is an absolute machine and likely future champion that has walked over all of his opponents to date.

In five UFC fights, Chimaev finished his opponent in his first four before earning a unanimous decision win over Gilbert Burns in his most recent fight at UFC 273. Facing legit opponents along the way, Chimaev has yet to be threatened inside the octagon and at 28 years of age is on the opposite career trajectory of the aging Diaz. There is a reason he is an over -1100 favorite on the moneyline and it is because the undefeated Chimaev holds the edge over his opponent in every category on paper.

It is fun to talk up the chances of Diaz putting together one of his warrior performances to shock the world and pull off the upset. However, it would be financially irresponsible to place a wager on it. Given Diaz is 0-2 in his last two fights and the current form of Chimaev, the wager to make in this fight is on the favorite.

Chimaev by TKO/submission is the play to make in this main event. Four out of five of Chimaev’s three-round fights have been finishes and with the extra two rounds in the main event, it is likely he will send Diaz out of the UFC with a submission or TKO defeat.

Betting Pick: Chimaev by Finish.

Jinliang vs Ferguson Prediction

The co-main event matchup features a fan favorite looking to revitalize his career in a new weight class. Li Jingliang sitting as the -334 favorite against Tony Ferguson, who is a +250 underdog as he looks to get his career back on track by moving to welterweight against a tough opponent.

Once the holder of a 12-fight win streak in the UFC, Ferguson has failed to win his last four fights and is in danger of falling by the wayside if he can’t pick up a win. The oddsmakers don’t expect Ferguson to turn things around, however, as evidenced by his +250 odds to earn a victory against the welterweight veteran.

Jingliang has made his career by compiling wins over fellow journeymen fighters and now has the opportunity to step into the spotlight in the co-main event of a PPV by taking on Ferguson. That added attention also comes with a step up in experience in his opponent, as Ferguson has spent his career fighting in significantly bigger fights and against a much higher level of opponents in the process.

Tony Ferguson also has past success at welterweight, winning The Ultimate Fighter way back in 2013 before immediately moving back to lightweight and starting his successful career in the lower weight class. Fast forward nine years and Ferguson has a chance to prove he has something left in the tank against an opponent who is a step down in reputation from his usual foes.

Given the +250 price and Ferguson’s greater reputation over his career, this is a fight to back the underdog as this fight is likely to be much closer than the betting odds suggest. It has been three years since we last saw Ferguson win inside the octagon but with his career on the line, ‘El Cucuy’ shouldn’t be overlooked as a great underdog bet.

Betting Pick: Tony Ferguson.

Holland vs Rodriguez Prediction

More welterweight action will be on display when Kevin Holland (-210 odds) takes on Daniel Rodriguez (+175) in the main card affair. Both fighters looking to continue to win streaks as Holland enters the fight as the favorite on a two-fight win streak, while Rodriguez is on a three-fight streak of his own.

Holland’s two-fight win streak came after a move back to welterweight after a failed stint in middleweight produced three consecutive losses. That move back to welterweight turned Holland’s career around as he is now headed in an upward direction after two consecutive finishes, a TKO win over Alex Oliveira followed by a submission victory over Tim Means.

Rodriguez is also on a winning streak dating back to his last fight in 2021 when he scored a decision victory over Kevin Lee. That was the last time Rodriguez competed inside the octagon as the 35-year-old has been out of action ever since following multiple hand surgeries.

Considering Rodriguez’s lengthy layoff and Holland’s two impressive finishes since coming back over to welterweight, Holland by TKO/submission is the play for this matchup. Holland appears to be locked in and powerful at welterweight and there are question marks surrounding how Rodriguez will recover from his layoff due to injury. This looks like a matchup where Holland will climb up the welterweight rankings with a finish over Rodriguez in his return from a lengthy injury absence.

Betting Pick: Holland by Finish.

Aldana vs Chiasson Prediction

The only women’s matchup on the UFC 279 main card is a bantamweight affair featuring two veterans. Irene Aldana the favorite at -175 odds against +150 underdog Macy Chiasson, who returns to bantamweight after fighting at featherweight in her last win inside the octagon.

Aldana – a former title contender in the UFC – makes her return from an injury absence that was extended after a cancellation from an expected return at UFC 273 in April. Now, the talented Mexican is healthy and ready to return to a fight she should win against an opponent who is bouncing between weight classes.

Chiasson won her last fight at UFC 274 against Norma Dumont. However, that fight could have easily been a loss for Chiasson in a narrow split decision. Both fighters also share a loss against Raquel Pennington as Chiasson suffered a submission defeat at UFC Fight Night 199, while Aldana lost to Pennington in a much closer split decision at UFC on ESPN 4 back in 2019.

Both these fighters have successful careers in the UFC, with Aldana seeing a bit more significant success with the aforementioned past title fight and more wins over top opponents. Aldana is a class above Chiasson and despite questions surrounding a return from injury, is a safe bet at -175 odds to take home the victory in her return.

Betting Pick: Aldana.

Walker vs Cutelaba Prediction

Rounding out the main card of fights is a light heavyweight clash between Johnny Walker and Ion Cutelaba. A fight between two fighters coming off a loss and one that Johnny Walker will desperately need to win after dropping four of his last five fights in the UFC.

Walker’s underdog price of +170 is reflected in his recent struggles inside the octagon. Once a hot light heavyweight prospect who started his UFC career at 3-0, Walker’s star quickly faded once the level of competition coming his way increased. Now, he needs to find a way to win and upset a motivated Ion Cutelaba to get his career back on track.

The oddsmakers favoring Cutelaba here is an interesting choice given the similarly poor recent results from the Moldovan fighter. Cutelaba has just one win in his last five octagon appearances and hasn’t won via a finish since 2019. Cutelaba also lost to Ryan Spann in his last outing via submission, a fighter Walker defeated in his last UFC win with a knockout.

That win over Spann was a bit of a fortunate occurrence of luck for Walker, who was rocked and near defeat before Spann decided to shoot for a takedown. That allowed Walker to recover and score the KO via hammer fists on a sprawled Spann.

If the price was a bit more enticing to back Cutelaba, I would trust the oddsmakers and take the favorite in this fight. In a fight featuring two guys who haven’t done a lot of winning in the last 24 months, I need a price better than -200. Therefore I am backing Walker at +170 odds in the hopes that he ends his slide and starts to return to the upper part of the light heavyweight rankings.

Betting Pick: Walker.

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