UFC 279: Chimaev vs Diaz Betting Preview

For the last time ever, Nathan Diaz will step inside the UFC’s Octagon this weekend. The former UFC lightweight challenger will look for pastures anew following his last contracted fight, but first he will have to battle formidable wrestler Khamzat Chimaev in the headliner of UFC 279. 

As a betting endeavour, this one is heavily leaning towards Chimaev. The Swede is a 1/10 favourite with American Diaz available at +500. There is value to be found here, though. If we take the Masvidal fight for example, there’s no doubt the once unbreakable Diaz is no longer that. The game of Chimaev is a nightmare for him. A power striker and relentless wrestler who won’t be afraid to follow Diaz to the mat and unleash his massive ground and pound with wrestling control.  

All that leads me to believe that Chimaev will get a finish here. At +110 a win by KO/TKO looks extremely tempting of a price. 9/5 for a submission looks less so, given Diaz’s ability on the floor. Which makes the former the way to go. If you fancy Chimaev to get it done early, a first round KO is +330. 

The rest of the card isn’t necessarily stacked with unmissable match-ups, but it does have some interest betting lines.  

The stand-out of which is Johnny Walker and Ion Cutelaba. Walker is currently a +190 Underdog, with Cutelaba a -225 favourite. And, OK, Walker got knocked out by Jamahal Hill last time out – but Cutelaba is no Hill. If Walker has any semblance of a gameplan here, he will wait on Ion and counter him. Cutelaba is an overly aggressive striker who is hit. He’s always hit. And if Walker can hit him hard, early – the +650 first round KO price could look awfully good. 

In terms of the other side, and big favourites, heavyweight prospect Jailton Almeida returns as a rightful huge favourite at -700 while at -425 Jake Collier will likely be a good option for a parlay play against Charles Barnett. 

In some of the closer match-ups of the night, I like Irene Aldana at -175, Hakeem Dawodu at -205 and Daniel Rodriguez to upset Kevin Holland at +165. 

Former UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson is the most interesting betting play here by a long margin. In his first fight at welterweight, the American takes on Chinese stand-out Li Jingliang in the co-main event. In his prime, Ferguson would have been a big favourite over Li, but that’s no longer the case. At +266 Ferguson is a big Underdog. Is it big enough to still bet on? Well, it’s tempting. If you do take the price, It’ll either be a big win or the last time you ever bet on Tony Ferguson. 

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