UFC 279 will go down in history for many reasons – backstage brawls, several fighters lost weight and the three main events of the full card were fully rotated and instead of the original fights we have three new fights. The original main event was supposed to be between Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz. Now, Diaz will face Tony Ferguson in the updated main event. Here are our predictions.
UFC 279 main event: Nate Diaz vs. Tony Ferguson (welterweight fight)
Nate Diaz Preview
Nate is a 37 year old American fighter. In 2007, he participated in the 5th season of The Ultimate Fighter, where he defeated Mani Gamburyan by TKO in the final and obtained a contract with the UFC.
His debut took place in September of the same year in a duel against Junior Assuncao, whom he defeated by strangulation in the 1st round. In total, Nate spent 25 fights in the UFC: 14 won, 11 lost.
Diaz last fought in July 2021. His opponent was Leon Edwards. Nate lost via unanimous decision.
Nate was a truly uncompromising all-around fighter. On the stand, he uses his supreme boxing skills. Diaz attacks in long combinations. This allows him to break the opponent’s timing and bypass their defense while standing, landing a large number of punches.
On the court, he relies on BJJ. He is dangerous from any position because he has a vast arsenal of painful techniques. Diaz has good cardio and can work at a high pace for 5 rounds.
But in the fight against Leon Edwards, Nate was no longer that hard-nosed gangster. He looked like a clown. He spent most of his time in the octagon on inappropriate antics, not dangerous attacking moves. Even when Diaz seriously rattled Leon Edwards late in the fight, he started grimacing and pointing, and didn’t go to finish his opponent off and snatch the win. So Nate Diaz gave the win to Leon Edwards.
Preview of Tony Ferguson
Tony is a 38 year old American fighter. In 2011, he participated in the 11th season of The Ultimate Fighter, where he eliminated Ramsey Nijem in the 1st round of the final and landed a contract with the UFC. Ferguson made his debut in September 2011 in a duel against Aaron Riley, whom he beat by technical knockout in the 1st round.
In total, Tony had 19 fights in the UFC: 14 won, 5 lost. Before this new Main Event, he posted 4 defeats in a row:
• Justin Gaethje – TKO in the 5th round;
• Charles Oliveira – Lost by unanimous decision
• Beneil Dariush – lost by unanimous decision;
• Michael Chandler – KO in the 2nd round.
The fight against Chandler was the last of Tony’s career. It passed in May 2022.
Tony is a versatile fighter. He practices not only traditional MMA kickboxing but also the more exotic Wing Chun. Thanks to this, he is able to unpleasantly surprise the opponent with sophisticated combinations, incredible blows and constant inventive pressure.
By using a non-standard combat IQ, Ferguson can reap a move over multiple rounds. And his nudges also leave terrible cuts.
For his versatility and creativity, Tony pays with gaps in his technique that he can’t or won’t fill. Due to his outspokenness and lack of a good boxing base, Tony misses a lot of punches. He allows opponents to cut corners and successfully catch him on counterattacks. It was this weakness in Ferguson that Justin Gaethje took advantage of.
Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush showed that Tony had issues when fighting strong wrestlers.
Diaz vs Ferguson Prediction: Over 2.5 Rounds
There are several fights that didn’t happen in the UFC that fans have always dreamed of. We can give examples such as Nurmagomedov – Ferguson – a fight that was supposed to happen three or more times. But then we have Diaz versus Ferguson. Two of the legendary fighters with the biggest fanbases. And both at the end of their careers. This was a fight that fans have always wanted to see and Diaz and Ferguson will no doubt give us their best. Also, this will likely be the final fight for the two in the UFC. Both fighters are hardliners who go all-in every time and although a knockout is highly possible, we expect a long fight that will go down in history.
UFC 279 Co-Main Event: Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kevin Holland
We’re putting that analysis here instead of the UFC 279 full card predictions because Khamzat Chimaev was supposed to be in the main event of the night. After the rotations due to his lack of weight, he will now face Kevin Holland in the co-main event but unlike the usual fight, it will be a 5 round battle. Therefore, here is our in-depth analysis of this fight and our prediction.
Overview of Khamzat Chimaev
Khamzat is a 27 year old Swedish fighter. He made his UFC debut in July 2020 against John Phillips, who was knocked out in the 2nd round. In total, Chimaev had 5 fights in the UFC, and he won in each one, and in 4 of them he won ahead of schedule. Khamzat’s last fight was in April 2022. His opponent was Gilbert Burns. Chimaev won by unanimous decision.
Khamzat is a versatile fighter. He wins fights due to high aggression and constant pressure. In a standing position, he relies on good technique, and precise and powerful punches. On the court, Chimaev exhibits excellent positional wrestling, devastating ground and poundage, and a wide arsenal of submissions.
In the last fight, Khamzat showed that his knockout power is not an ultimatum. He couldn’t knock out Gilbert Burns, who suffered 2 of his last 3 losses by knockout. It was also revealed that Khamzat might be in trouble. He didn’t pay enough attention to defense and missed dangerous shots from Burns.
Preview of Kevin Holland
Kevin is a 29 year old American fighter. In 2018 he came to Dana White’s Contender Series, where he defeated Will Santiago by unanimous decision and signed with the UFC.
Holland’s debut came in 2018 in a duel against Thiago Santos, which he lost by unanimous decision. In total, Kevin spent 15 fights in the UFC: 10 won, 4 lost and 1 fight declared invalid.
Kevin’s last fight was in June 2022. His opponent was Tim Means. Holland won by choke in the 2nd round and received the award for best performance of the night.
Holland is a versatile fighter who works hard. In the pit he has good footwork and unusual shots. Additionally, Kevin has enough power in his fists to knock out an opponent with a single punch.
Chimaev vs Holland Prediction – Under 2.5 Rounds
Fans will be treated to a delicious co-main event, but we believe this fight will end early. It will be a 5-rounder but Khamzat Chimaev is much more dominant than Kevin Holland and with their recent backstage brawl we expect it to be a war. Both fighters will try to knock out the opponent and we expect that to end in round 1 or round 2. Of course, this could end up being a case similar to the Gilbert Burns fight, but Khamzat should be more attentive to his game plan and we expect a dominating victory.