UFC 279 Predictions: Nate Diaz Is Now Fighting Tony Ferguson
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Image
— Updated on 30 January 2023

UFC 279 Predictions: Nate Diaz Is Now Fighting Tony Ferguson

— Updated on 30 January 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Welcome to Octagon Oracle. Each week, we’ll set aside some time to break down the other sweet science in anticipation of the upcoming UFC event. This edition covers UFC 279 predictions, betting odds, and just a dash of armchair analysis (main card). Enjoy the hostilities and gamble responsibly.

UPDATED [10/09/22]: Chaos. Utter chaos. If you thought scrapping the pre-fight press conference due to an insane backstage brawl reportedly involving just about everyone on UFC 279’s main card was unprecedented, wait until you get a load of this.

The organisation has been forced to completely reshuffle tomorrow’s fights after headliner Khamzat Chimaev missed weight by an egregious 7.5 pounds. And before you ask, no — he isn’t just taking after his new bestie Darren Till. The Wolf had been forced by medical staff to stop cutting weight for health concerns

“It’s been a hell of a night and a hell of a morning here,” said UFC President Dana White.

But in reference to the new UFC 279 card, White added: “It literally couldn’t have played out any better.”

So what can we expect come Sunday?

The outgoing Nate Diaz will now go head-to-head another fan favourite who doesn’t know the definition of “quit,” Tony Ferguson, while Khamzat Chimaev is being given an opportunity to finish the beef he started with Kevin Holland yesterday; the former apparently kicked the latter in the chest, thereby instigating the show-stopping backstage brawl. Both bouts will be five-round co-main events.

As for Holland’s original opponent Daniel Rodriguez, he’ll have his work cut out for him with Li Jingliang.

Check out our revised predictions at the bottom of this article.

Original Article – UFC 279 Predictions: Can Nate Diaz Survive Being Fed To A Wolf?

It’s clear neither the organisation nor its president, Dana White, have really appreciated Nate Diaz for the press conference-stopping wild man he is (somebody please upload the backstage footage already). That is with the exception of being given the go-ahead for the Conor McGregor duology, which obviously entailed hefty paydays, though not much else beyond that. Because let’s face it — that entire circus surrounding Jorge Masvidal and the BMF belt was pretty much the MMA equivalent of handing your little brother an unplugged PlayStation controller.

Now, for the final fight of his contract, the stone-cold gangster from the mean streets of Stockton has been fed to a wolf. The wolf, in this case, being the UFC’s undefeated rising star Khamzat Chimaev, who has showcased overwhelming dominance throughout his ascension upwards; and recently survived his first real test during a three-round slugfest against Gilbert Burns.

RELATED: Alexander Volkanovski Is Now The UFC’s Pound-For-Pound King

Stylistically, it’s quite possibly the worst match-up for Nate Diaz (more on this later) who is paying $7.50 for the victory on BossBet. So why has he chosen young Chimaev as the dance partner for his swan song? According to the man himself… he hasn’t.

“I told [Dana White] I’ll fight a top five guy since you won’t let me out to fight [Tony Ferguson], [Vicente Luque], or who the fuck else did I try to fight? [Dustin Poirier] or [Michael Chandler], the best of the best.” Nate Diaz claimed in an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

“I’m the champion of the whole UFC altogether, and I don’t give a fuck.”

Diaz added: “What they got me doing right now is they’re acting like I called for this fight, which I didn’t call for, and I don’t want, and I didn’t want, and still don’t want, but I don’t give a fuck. I’ll fight anybody.”

“Pressure’s on him. He better finish me, because he’s the next killer in town. Pressure’s on me because I better not get killed by the next best killer in town. Because they’re saying he’s the best in town.”

By all accounts, it’s a lose-lose scenario for the UFC and Uncle Dana.

If we receive the expected outcome wherein Chimaev defeats Diaz in signature fashion (read: brutal AF), it’ll be a tragic ending to the legend’s story; an ending that casts both organisation and organisation in an even more villainous light.

In the unlikely event, there’s a massive upset, Diaz will effectively walk away from this promotion with major bargaining power, taking all those potential pay-per-view dollars with him to wherever he lands (perhaps his own newly-established combat sports promotion), while the Khamzat Chimaev hype train will be derailed in a big way.

Anyway, here are our predictions for UFC 279: Khamzat Chimaev vs Nate Diaz.

UFC 279 Predictions (Updated Main Card)

Tony Ferguson vs Nate Diaz

  • Division: Welterweight
  • Records: Tony Ferguson (25-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC) | Nate Diaz (20-13 MMA, 15-11 UFC)
  • Recent Performance: Tony Ferguson – (1-4) | Nate Diaz (2-3)
  • Rankings: Tony Ferguson – #11 | Nate Diaz – Unranked
  • Boss Bet Odds: Tony Ferguson – $1.64 | Nate Diaz – $2.24

Armchair Analysis

As previously mentioned, it’s not looking good for Nate Diaz. We’re talking the perfect nightmare. Khamzat Chimaev has heavier fists and an elite wrestling skillset that’s superior to Diaz’s by an overwhelming margin (them rural Russian fighters are just built different). But there is a glimmer of hope for the veteran.

This is Chimaev’s maiden five-round bout, and as you may have noticed during his encounter with Gilbert Burns, pacing himself might be an issue. One of the drawbacks for those accustomed to securing the finish in Round 1 (early Round 2 on a bad day). Diaz, on the other hand, has a reputation for his insane gas tank. Judges be damned — he can trade for days. You know the saying: Nate Diaz doesn’t lose, he just runs out of time.

Assuming Chimaev’s game plan involves smothering + suffocating Diaz before taking him to Pound Town, as per the expectation, there could even be an opportunity for Diaz to threaten a submission befitting of a third-degree black belt under Cesar Gracie. Of course, everything we’ve just outlined hinges on Diaz’s scar tissue behaving. What an absolute fizzer it’d be if this comes down to a doctor stoppage between rounds.

Assuming there isn’t an early doctor stoppage due to goddamn his scar tissue, our bet’s on Nate Diaz.

Khamzat Chimaev vs Kevin Holland

  • Division: Catchweight
  • Records: Khamzat Chimaev (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) | Kevin Holland (23-7-1 MMA, 11-4-1 UFC)
  • Recent Performance: Khamzat Chimaev (5-0) | Kevin Holland (2-2-1)
  • Rankings: Khamzat Chimaev – Null | Kevin Holland – Null
  • Boss Bet Odds: Khamzat Chimaev – $1.18 | Kevin Holland – $5.00

Armchair Analysis

Watching Kevin Holland 2.0 has been a thing of beauty. Ever since the ever-chatty American returned to the welterweight division after a multi-year tenure as a middleweight, he’s been in impressive form.

On paper, however, Daniel Rodriguez appears to have the better record. Although it’s worth noting D-Rod hasn’t faced the same calibre of opponents as Holland. And we have a feeling this is going to be a case where experience will make the difference.

Khamzat Chimaev is eating Kevin Holland alive.

Li Jingliang vs Daniel Rodriguez

  • Division: Catchweight
  • Records: Li Jingliang (19-7 MMA, 11-5 UFC) | Daniel Rodriguez (16-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC)
  • Recent Performance: Li Jingliang – (3-2) | Daniel Rodriguez (4-1)
  • Rankings: Li Jingliang – Null | Daniel Rodriguez – Null
  • Boss Bet Odds: Li Jingliang – $2.23 | Daniel Rodriguez – $1.66

Armchair Analysis

It’s been heartbreaking to witness Tony Ferguson’s four-fight skid; though let’s not forget said fights were against Justin Gaethje, Charles Oliveira, Beneil Dariush, and Michael Chandler. Still, considering the damage he’s sustained over the past few years and the fact he’s pushing 40, it might be time for El Cucuy to hang up the gloves.

Li Jingliang is the younger man by a few years with far less mileage on the metaphorical dash. Read: a little more durable (for the time being). Based on what we’ve seen so far, he’s also got better MMA fundamentals.

Our bet’s on Daniel Rodriguez.


Irene Aldana vs Macy Chiasson

  • Division: Bantamweight
  • Records: Irene Aldana (13-6 MMA, 6-4 UFC) | Macy Chiasson (8-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC)
  • Recent Performance: Irene Aldana (3-2) | Macy Chiasson (3-2)
  • Rankings: Irene Aldana – #4 | Macy Chiasson – #10
  • Boss Bet Odds: Irene Aldana – $1.54 | Macy Chiasson – $2.50

Armchair Analysis

Following the idea of experience making a difference re: Kevin Holland vs Daniel Rodriguez, we believe it’ll be the same case with Irene Aldana vs Macy Chiasson. Aldana has survived almost twice as many professional fights as Chiasson, in addition to being ranked in the UFC women’s pound-for-pound list (#14).

Our bet’s on Irene Aldana.

Johnny Walker vs Ion Cutelaba

  • Division: Light Heavyweight
  • Records: Johnny Walker (18-7 MMA, 4-4 UFC) | Ion Cutelaba (16-7 MMA, 5-6-1 UFC)
  • Recent Performance: Johnny Walker (1-4) | Ion Cutelaba (2-3)
  • Rankings: Johnny Walker – #13| Ion Cutelaba – Unranked
  • Boss Bet Odds: Johnny Walker – $2.65 | Ion Cutelaba – $1.50

Armchair Analysis

Granted, Johnny Walker is in the midst of curbing yet another two-fight skid. But some – present company included – would argue Ion Cutelaba’s entire career has been a skid since June 2016. Honestly, a toddler with chicken pox is less spotty than this bloke’s past performances.

Our bet’s on Johnny Walker.

UFC 279: Khamzat Chimaev vs Nate Diaz is scheduled to go down this Sunday at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada (Main Card Local Time — September 11th of 2022, 12 PM [AEST]).

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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