With UFC 279 on the horizon, it is time to highlight the main card’s betting odds and which fighters exactly stick out in some underdog roles. Similar to the New Jersey betting market, Nate Diaz is currently hovering around a huge (+800) underdog for his main event matchup opposite Khamzat Chimaev. Here is a look at Nate Diaz and all of the UFC 279 Underdogs.
UFC 279 Main Card-Betting Odds
- Khamzat Chimaev (-1600) vs. Nate Diaz (+800)
- Li Jingliang (-270) vs. Tony Ferguson (+230)
- Kevin Holland (-200) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (+170)
- Irene Aldana (-190) vs. Macy Chiasson (+160)
- Ion Cutelaba (-180) vs. Johnny Walker (+150)
Keep in mind that these numbers do vary and change with time, this is just the numbers currently at the time of writing. As you can see above, Diaz (+800) and Ferguson (+230) are the biggest underdogs on the main card of UFC 279.
UFC 279 Underdogs: Return of ‘The Boogeyman"
Looking at the odds, number 11 ranked lightweight-Ferguson (25-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC) is a fairly sizable underdog in his contest with number 14 ranked UFC welterweight-Jingliang (19-7 MMA, 11-5 UFC). This is Ferguson"s first return to welterweight since June of 2011, when “El Cucuy" won The Ultimate Fighter 13 finale vs. Ramsey Nijem by KO in the very first round. Ferguson entered the competition at welterweight.
Since winning The Ultimate Fighter contest, Ferguson has competed at lightweight 19 times in the UFC, winning 14 of the contests and losing five of them. It should be added that four of Ferguson"s five losses have all happened in his last four fights. Now (0-4) in his last four-Ferguson has not won since defeating Donald Cerrone by TKO in the second round at UFC 238 in June of 2019.
Cutting weight later in a career with age not typically on a fighter"s side, moving up a weight class could prove to be the exact turnaround that Ferguson is looking for. Ferguson has looked solid in the past at welterweight and there are definitely viable ways for the former TUF champion to get back in the win column at UFC 279. Ferguson is (11-2) in his pro MMA career at welterweight.
“I"m Not Surprised"
Nate Diaz (20-13 MMA, 15-11 UFC) is no stranger to being a sizable underdog in the octagon and shocking the world. Just look at quite possibly the Stockton native"s most iconic win under the big lights when Diaz fighting at welterweight and on short notice defeated Conor McGregor (featherweight and lightweight champ at the time) by submission in the second round at UFC 196 in March of 2016. Diaz closed as a (+350) underdog in that contest. Although it"s certainly not as large as (+800) for Diaz"s upcoming contest against Chimaev (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC), it does prove that Diaz is unfazed by the hype and numbers.
Nate Diaz does have a fair history of competing at welterweight as well, having nine total fights at said weight, in fact Diaz"s last five contests have all been at welterweight-winning two of them. Diaz"s total record at welterweight is (3-6). Diaz is also no stranger to going five rounds while this is Chimaev"s first ever scheduled five round fight. In fact, this will be the seventh time that Diaz has been scheduled for five rounds. Not only having the clear advantage in experience in five round contests, but Diaz has also competed in three times the contests that Chimaev has.
Nate Diaz has many skills to utilize to win at UFC 279, especially when you take in the fact that Chimaev seemed to tire and slow in the three-round war against Gilbert Burns in his last fight. Diaz has rarely if ever seemed tired in the octagon. With extreme pressure, elite jiu-jitsu and the precise counters of Diaz, Chimaev may be forced to fight at a whole ‘new" pace he is not accustomed to. It will be interesting regardless but especially if the fight goes into the championship rounds.
Be sure to stay tuned to Overtime Heroics in the coming days as our official UFC 279 Staff Picks will be published with our writer and editor predictions for the main card. What are your thoughts on Nate Diaz and the UFC 279 underdogs? Let us know in the comments below!
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