UFC 279 goes down this weekend live from Las Vegas! Headlining the event is a blockbuster welterweight fight between the smashing machine, Khamzat Chimaev taking on the legendary, Nate Diaz. The co-main event sees the welterweight return of Tony Ferguson who takes on the finishing phenom, Li Jingliang. Kevin Holland returns to face Daniel Rodriguez, Johnny Walker takes on Ion Cutelaba in a fight that is guaranteed fireworks and Irene Aldana returns.
We give you some betting tips ahead of this huge card so you can win in more ways than one. All odds are correct at the time of writing via DraftKings.
UFC 279 Betting Tips
Daniel Rodriguez via decision (+450)
It’s been over a year since we last saw Daniel Rodriguez make the walk, when he dominated Kevin Lee, progressing to 6-1 in the UFC. Holland has had somewhat of a career revival, starting at the turn of the year. Dropping down to welterweight and picking up two performance of the night bonuses, Holland may have just found his perfect weight class. This one, however, will be contested at a catchweight of 180lbs.
Holland is a notoriously slow starter. Against both Alex Oliveira and Tim Means in the first round, Holland appeared to struggle to get going. Let’s not get it wrong, when he got it going, he finished both opponents. With that being said, Rodriguez is a far more active striker, landing an average of over double the number of strikes per minute than Holland. Expect D-Rod to start early and get the lead from minute one and force the ‘Trailblazer’ to have to chase the victory.
Holland tends to only win fights via finish. Of his 23 wins, only four have gone to a decision in his favour. He’s recorded an impressive 13 knockouts and six submissions. With that being said, Rodriguez has never lost via finish, so the fight leans in the favour of Rodriguez.
Chimaev via KO/TKO (-150)
Although these aren’t the greatest odds, there’s a reason for this. Chimaev is a huge favourite in this one with odds of -1150 for an outright victory. Entering the bout as such a heavy favourite, expect Chimaev to look to put in a statement victory.
Unfortunately for Diaz, he has so much scar tissue on his face that he lends himself to being cut. Chimaev will likely look to ground the fight, land heavy ground and pound and finish the fight. Even if he can’t finish the fight on the floor, he will inevitably cause cuts to Nate Diaz’s face. We saw in the ‘BMF’ title fight how Diaz’s night was cut short due to cuts. His only other TKO/KO loss came at the hands of a peak Josh Thompson back in 2013. It’s worth noting he’s only ever been submitted once, all the way back in 2006.
With that being said, Diaz has seemed disinterested all fight week, claiming he gave up training for his upcoming bout. We could see a shadow of the Nate Diaz we’ve all come accustomed to and therefore, expect Chimaev to finish the fight inside 25 minutes.
Other Potential Picks
Irene Aldana via TKO/KO (+300)
Aldana is a rarety at 135lbs due to the fact that she has legitimate knockout power and often finishes her fights. The Mexican has 10 finishes in 13 wins, with seven coming via TKO/KO. Although her opponent, Macy Chiasson has never been finished via TKO/KO, she’s a natural featherweight and cutting down 10lbs might affect her ability to take a shot.
Johnny Walker vs. Ion Cutelaba over 2.5 rounds (+225)
Hear me out here. Yes, we have two notorious finishers, two heavy hitters and two men who can legitimately finish the fight at any moment. However, both men are in desperate need of a win, with the potential of being cut for the loser. The men are a combined 3-8-1 in their recent fights of which six of those combined losses have come via finish. Both men will be cautious heading into this one, knowing the strengths of their opponent. Cutelaba will likely look to outwrestle Walker as he averages 4.75 takedowns per 15 minutes. He’ll look to ground him, hold him there and get his hand raised, similar to how Nikita Krylov defeated Walker. In what is expected to be a fireworks fight could end up being a 15-minute tactical affair instead.