UFC 279: Chimaev vs. Diaz Preview and Predictions
The UFC rarely presents a numbered pay-per-view event without the presence of a championship bout headlining the show. But on September 10, inside the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, star power is leading the event, and UFC 279 is already looking to become an instant classic.
The UFC’s fastest rising star in Khamzat Chimaev will face the veteran fan favorite Nate Diaz in a welterweight main event bout. The popularity of both fighters is guaranteed to deliver high PPV numbers, therefore giving the promotion no need to worry about scheduling a title matchup on the card.
The theme of UFC 279 has been labeled ‘Seek and Destroy’. This is a flash from the past and a homage to UFC 87 from back in the days when the UFC would title every pay-per-event. Chimaev has steam-rolled the opposition thus far, and most critics expect a similar outing versus Diaz. But can the Stockton representative deliver one more shock to the MMA world? We’ll find out in three weeks.
Professional MMA record: 11-0-0
Chimaev is not just undefeated, but he’s obliterated 90% of the competition since joining the UFC in 2020. The only exception is Chimaev’s most recent bout against Gilbert Burns, who notably gave the superstar his most brutal fight to date. However, Chimaev walked away with a unanimous decision victory over the top-ranked Brazilian welterweight and is now positioning himself to become the next No.1 contender for Leon Edwards’ championship.
Prior to his battle with Burns, Chimaev smashed smeshed his opponents via knockout, technical knockout, or submission. In eleven professional bouts, Burns was the only fighter who managed to take Chimaev to the judge’s scorecards.
Sports bettors have struggled to make money on Chimaev thus far, as the oddsmakers were quick to recognize his talents, and most betting sites have favored the Chechnya, Russia native in all of his UFC fights to date.
However, Diaz boasts an extensive professional MMA career, and in 33 contests, he’s been stopped inside the distance on a mere three occasions. This should significantly boost the Chimaev KO/SUB proposition betting market, a position that wagering enthusiasts could look towards at UFC 279.
Professional MMA record: 21-13-0
Despite winning just one of his previous four UFC bouts, Nate Diaz remains a fan favorite and a huge draw for the company. His general toughness and durability perfectly represent a warrior’s spirit.
Diaz has long been a notable figure in professional MMA, making his debut in 2007. However, his feud with Conor McGregor will go down in the history books, which shot him into superstardom.
Many have questioned the longevity of Diaz, and aged 37-year-olds, critics, expect his in-cage efforts to hit a downtrend. They wouldn’t be wrong in thinking this, the sheer number of strikes that Diaz has taken during his fighting career is alarming, and countless three and five-round wars will unquestionably catch up with him sooner or later.
UFC 279: Diaz vs. Chimaev Prediction
It’s never easy to discredit Diaz’s experience and skill set, but he’s a part of an older generation, and he’ll put up against a fearless new-age fighter in Chimaev.
Age, speed, power, current form, and finishing ability all favor the Russian. Diaz will own an experience and potentially a cardio advantage, but it isn’t easy to envision Stockton’s beloved MMA hero finding a clear path to victory at UFC 279.
Whether he’s securing body locks and rag-dolling Diaz or delivering a precisely placed knockout blow, the Russian-born-phenom fighting out of the Allstar training center in Sweden will leave Las Vegas with another victory notched on his record.
UFC 279 MAIN CARD SCHEDULE (To date)
- Nate Diaz vs. Khamzat Chimaev| Welterweight main event bout
- Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Jailton Almeida| Heavyweight main event bout
- Irene Aldana vs. Macy Chiasson| Women’s featherweight main event bout
- Johnny Walker vs. Ion Cutelaba| Light heavyweight main event bout
- Jingliang Li vs. Tony Ferguson| Lightweight main event bout
UFC 279 PRELIMINARY CARD SCHEDULE (To date)
- Kevin Holland vs. Daniel Rodriguez| Welterweight main event bout
- Norma Dumont vs. Danyelle Wolf| Women’s featherweight main event bout
- Nate Diaz vs. Denis Tiuliulin| Middleweight main event bout
- Chad Anheliger vs. Heili Alateng| Bantamweight main event bout
- Elise Reed vs. Melissa Martinez| Women’s strawweight main event bout
- Jake Collier vs. Chris Barnett| Heavyweight main event bout
- Hakeem Dawodu vs. Julian Erosa| Featherweight main event bout
- Darian Weeks vs. Daniel Rodriguez| Welterweight main event bout
The UFC 279 schedule and bout placements are subject to change.