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MMASucka’s UFC 279 Staff Picks

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Shocking last-minute changes are not enough to phase our MMASucka staff picks.

An incredible lineup of fights it will be as UFC 279 will take place tonight, September 10th from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Five fights compose the main card beginning at 10:00pm ET (7:00pm PT) live on pay-per-view available for purchase through ESPN+.

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Live results from UFC 279: Diaz vs. Ferguson will be available here at MMASucka.

Stay tuned this upcoming Tuesday the 13th for our Dana White’s Contender Series 54 staff picks.

The Fights

Welterweights Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz were originally to meet in the night’s featured main event. With Chimaev weighing in seven and-a-half pound over the divisional limit on Friday afternoon, it appeared as though the event was in jeopardy of losing its headlining bout. However, last-minute shuffles have resulted in changes for three of the fights on the main card.

Long-time promotional veteran Diaz will remain in the main event slot and will fight former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson for a possible five rounds. Ferguson was separated from his main card fight with exciting talent Li Jingliang, as Jingliang will take on Syndicate MMA’s Daniel Rodriguez at a catchweight of 180 pounds.

Diaz and Holland’s original opponents, Chimaev and Kevin Holland respectively, are now to settle their differences in the five-round, co-main event also at a catchweight of 180 pounds. Issues between the two fighters leading up to the event resulted in Thursday’s press conference for the event being cancelled entirely.

Find our staff picks for the highly-anticipated UFC 279 further below.

Staff Picks

Staff picks in 2022 will follow the same set of rules from the 2021 season. Throughout the calendar year, staff picks will be composed of main card fights from both UFC and Bellator events. Main card fights and selected preliminary fights will be included for PFL MMA. Dana White’s Contender Series will be composed of the entire fight card.

The WINNER of staff picks in 2022 will have a choice between receiving a custom-made championship belt from ProAmBelts or a chain from Championship Chains. A winner is determined simply by the individual correctly picking the most victorious fighters at the year’s end. Nate Freeman secured his first victory with MMASucka in 2021 with a compiled record 243-136.

Who are the MMASucka staff taking to win at UFC 279: Diaz vs. Ferguson?


Staff Records after Dana White’s Contender Series 53:

1. Nate Freeman: 191-99
2. Wesley Riddle: 188-102
3. Frazer Krohn: 186-104
4. Michael DeSantis: 183-107
5T. Jeremy Brand: 173-111
5T. William Dong: 173-106
7. Chris Presnell: 164-115
8. Julio Monteros Jr.: 161-89
9. Andrew Benjamin: 156-122
10. Tim Wheaton: 152-88
11. Mike Lynch: 123-74
12. Brian Knight: 117-85
13. Brandon Joint: 115-74
14. Jack Goodwillie: 112-53
15. Ash Camyab: 105-77
16. Coby Weinsier: 87-47
17. Chinyere Okafor: 72-38
18. Jacek Okninski: 70-58
19. Roemello Reyes: 48-25
20. Ben Jamieson: 25-19
21. Matt Bricker: 24-22
22. Joe Porter: 11-5

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*


Johnny Walker (18-7), +170
vs.
Ion Cutelaba (16-7-1, 1 NC), -200

Light Heavyweight Division
– 205 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Cutelaba via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Cutelaba via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Cutelaba via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Walker via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Cutelaba via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Cutelaba via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Cutelaba via Round 1 TKO
Chris Presnell: Cutelaba via Round 1 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Cutelaba via Round 2 TKO
Brian Knight: Walker via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Cutelaba via Unanimous Decision
Roemello Reyes: Cutelaba via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Walker: 2
Staff picking Cutelaba: 10


Irene Aldana (13-6), -180
vs.
Macy Chiasson (9-2), +155

Catchweight Fight
– 140 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Aldana via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Aldana via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Aldana via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Aldana via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Aldana via Round 2 TKO
Nate Freeman: Aldana via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Aldana via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Aldana via Round 1 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Aldana via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Aldana via Split Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Aldana via Round 2 TKO
Roemello Reyes: Aldana via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Aldana: 12
Staff picking Chiasson: 0


Li Jingliang (19-7), +135
vs.
Daniel Rodriguez (16-2), -155

Catchweight Fight
– 180 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Jingliang via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Jingliang via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Rodriguez via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Rodriguez via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Rodriguez via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Rodriguez via Split Decision
Tim Wheaton: Jingliang via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Jingliang via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: N/A
Brian Knight: Rodriguez via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Rodriguez via Unanimous Decision
Roemello Reyes: Rodriguez via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Jingliang: 4
Staff picking Rodriguez: 7


Khamzat Chimaev (11-0), -540
vs.
Kevin Holland (23-7, 1 NC), +420

Catchweight Co-Main Event
Five Rounds
– 180 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Chimaev via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Chimaev via Round 2 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Chimaev via Round 1 SUB
Andrew Benjamin: Holland via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Chimaev via Round 2 TKO
Nate Freeman: Chimaev via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Holland via Round 2 TKO
Chris Presnell: Chimaev via Round 3 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: N/A
Brian Knight: Chimaev via Round 1 SUB
Jack Goodwillie: Chimaev via Unanimous Decision
Roemello Reyes: Chimaev via Round 1 SUB

Staff picking Chimaev: 9
Staff picking Holland: 2


Nate Diaz (21-13), +115
vs.
Tony Ferguson (26-7), -135

Welterweight Main Event
Five Rounds
– 170 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Diaz via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Diaz via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Diaz via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Diaz via Split Decision
Frazer Krohn: Diaz via Split Decision
Nate Freeman: Ferguson via Split Decision
Tim Wheaton: Diaz via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Diaz via Round 3 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: N/A
Brian Knight: Ferguson via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Ferguson via Unanimous Decision
Roemello Reyes: Ferguson via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Diaz: 7
Staff picking Ferguson: 4

*Fight odds from DraftKings*

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Wesley Riddle is a 25-year-old writer out of Harrisonburg, Virginia and a recent graduate from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, having obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Health and Physical Education. Watching the draw between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard from 2011 sparked his interest in the sport of mixed martial arts. He created "All That MMA" on Twitter, which came to birth in December of 2013. He would join with MMASucka in the later quarter of 2016. Some of Riddle's hobbies include music, playing golf, watching horror movies, and working with non-profit organizations throughout his community. You can follow him on Twitter at @AllThatMMA or @WesleyRiddleMMA, and on Instagram @WesleyRiddle.

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