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UFC 279: Quick picks and prognostications

MMA Junkie analyst Dan Tom breaks down the UFC’s high bouts. As we speak, we have a look at the principle card for UFC 279.

UFC 279 takes place Saturday at T-Cellular Enviornment in Las Vegas. The primary card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPNEWS and early prelims on ESPN+.

Final occasion’s outcomes: 3-3

General picks for UFC foremost playing cards in 2022: 89-54-1

Welcome to MMAJunkie’s Fast Picks and Prognostications, the place I’ll be giving temporary, fight-day breakdowns for UFC foremost playing cards.

With that in thoughts, I hope these write-ups don’t come off as curt or dismissive, as my objective right here is to supply fast picks and evaluation in a digestible format. All odds listed are supplied by Tipico Sportsbook.

When you’d like extra detailed evaluation from me, then be happy to take a look at my weekly present, The Protect Ya’ Neck Podcast.

So, with out additional ado…

Ion Cutelaba (-210) vs. Johnny Walker (+160)

Kicking off the pay-per-view portion of the cardboard is a light-weight heavyweight showdown between Ion Cutelaba and Johnny Walker.

Each males are motion fighters at coronary heart, however Walker has grow to be overly conservative whereas Cutelaba’s wildness can nonetheless price him at occasions. That stated, Cutelaba has proven some optimistic enhancements since working at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas (a fitness center that I’ve a long-stated bias with).

Except Walker can discover a hail marry submission in a scramble, then I think that Cutelaba can detonate the SBG product’s chin inside the first spherical.

Irene Aldana (-175) vs. Macy Chiasson (+135)

In a slew of catchweight contests, Irene Aldana meets Macy Chiasson on the principle card.

Though the burden allowance undoubtedly helps Chiasson extra, I nonetheless suspect that the stylistic dynamic of this struggle in the end favors Aldana. Apart from being a superior striker in boxing vary, Aldana has underrated counter grappling and clinching that would come to gentle on this struggle.

Add in the truth that Aldana tends to choose up velocity down the stretch, and I believe that she will be able to pressure a stoppage on a flagging Chiasson by the third spherical.

Li Jingliang (+120) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (-155)

Regularly getting the brief finish of the stick whereas sustaining a smile on his face is Li Jingliang, who finally ends up having to face Daniel Rodriguez at 180 kilos – regardless of making 170 kilos for a completely totally different opponent (story here).

Not solely is Rodriguez a harmful fighter with a totally totally different fashion than Tony Ferguson (Li’s preliminary matchup), however the Los Angeles native may even be the primary UFC-level southpaw of Li’s profession.

As a lot as I need to see Li sport his spectacular blue swimsuit within the winner’s circle, I’ll begrudgingly choose Rodriguez to rain on the parade by stinging the Chinese language fighter with impactful counters en path to an enormous win on the scorecards.

Khamzat Chimaev (-550) vs. Kevin Holland (+370)

UFC fighters Khamzat Chimaev left, and Kevin Holland trade phrases throughout a ceremonial weigh-in for the UFC 279 blended martial arts occasion Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, in Las Vegas. UFC president Dana White retains the fighters separated. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Solar through AP)

The co-main occasion in Las Vegas options an impromptu matchup between Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland.

After grossly lacking the welterweight restrict for his first foremost occasion encounter reverse Nate Diaz, Chimaev now finds himself dealing with one other acquainted foe in Holland.

Despite the fact that I’m formally choosing Chimaev to make use of his wrestling prowess to copy the success that Brendan Allen had towards Holland, I ponder what this struggle may appear like if the Chechen fighter is unable to provide a end inside the first seven minutes given his aggression and pacing.

Add in Chimaev’s big weight miss and all of the fight-week craziness, and I don’t blame anybody for taking a small stab on the underdog on the betting window.

Nate Diaz (+105) vs. Tony Ferguson (-135)

Regardless of the chaotic shuffle attributable to Chimaev, the newly-minted foremost occasion between Nate Diaz and Tony Ferguson makes far more sense from a matchmaking perspective.

Ferguson, who’s formally 3-2 towards UFC-level southpaws, ought to discover some early success because the extra various attacker and aggressive starter. That stated, I’ve a sneaky suspicion that Diaz’s measurement and underrated clinch acumen may take over this struggle if Stockton’s best turns this into extra of a grappling match.

I don’t disagree with the cash that pushed Ferguson to favourite odds, however I’ll reluctantly facet with Diaz (who really ready for 5 rounds) to out-grapple and outlast the previous light-weight kingpin for a win on the scorecards.

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