As far as UFC pay-per-views go, UFC 279 is one. Technically it’s a PPV. Is it really worthy of your hard-earned cash? That’s up to you. We’ve got no title fights, and a couple of squash matches on the top of the card. Regardless of its strength on paper, we’re still going to win buttloads of money from it thanks to my UFC 279 predictions.
UFC 279 Predictions
All odds courtesy of PointsBet
Khamzat Chimaev (-1110) vs Nate Diaz
As mentioned, we get a couple of squash matches at the top of the card. Khamzat Chimaev is going to steamroll Nate Diaz. He’s too big, too young, too athletic for a well past his prime Diaz to handle. Even at the top of his powers years ago, Diaz would have lost to Chimaev. Not much analysis is needed here.
Li Jingliang (-325) vs Tony Ferguson
Ok, maybe this one isn’t quite a squash match, but you can’t count on Tony Ferguson at this point. He hasn’t won a fight since June of 2019, and is coming off of a brutal knockout loss this past May. While Li Jingliang doesn’t hit like Ferguson’s last opponent, Michael Chandler, 10 of his 19 victories have come via knockout. There’s a good chance ‘The Leech’ puts the fan favorite’s lights out again this Saturday.
Kevin Holland (-195) vs Daniel Rodriguez
This catchweight bout (180 pounds) was a much more difficult one to pick than the top two fights. I’ve gone with Kevin Holland because he’s way bigger (seven inches of reach) and younger (six years), two stats that have a significant say in the outcome of fights. Also, if in doubt, going with the chalk is always the best strategy.
Irene Aldana (-180) vs Macy Chiasson
This is another fight that I’ve waffled on a bit, only to land on the favorite. Irene Aldana’s resume and ‘trustworthiness’ is just higher than Macy Chiasson’s in my eyes. The concerns are Aldana missed weight badly in her last fight, and has been on the shelf since then (July 2021). But she can really crack (seven knockouts in 13 pro wins), as the video below shows.
Ion Cutelaba (-200) vs Johnny Walker
The main card is rounded out by a light heavyweight fight, in which I’m going with ‘The Hulk’ Ion Cutelaba. Johnny Walker has been a bit of a mess of late, losing two straight and four of five as he transitions to a more conservative fighting style. I trust Cutelabla to be far more active and lean on his grappling to get the job done against the much bigger man.
Hakeem Dawodu (-230) vs Julian Erosa
‘Mean’ Hakeem Dawodu is the first in a trio of fellow Canadians that I’m riding with this weekend, going against my ‘Fade the Canadian’s ethos. Julian Erosa is a tricky guy to fight, but Dawodu is the much better and more technically sound striker.
Jailton Almeida (-750) vs Anton Turkalj
I’m a huge fan of Jailton Almeida, especially in this catchweight (220 pounds) fight against Anton Turkalj, who is debuting here on short notice. Almeida is going to be too good for him in every aspect of this fight, especially with limited time to prepare for him.
Jamie Pickett (-130) vs Denis Tiuliulin
Denis Tiuliulin has power (eight knockouts in nine wins), but he’s very inconsistent, going loss, win, loss in his three UFC fights, compiling a pedestrian 9-6 overall record. Jamie Pickett should be the better striker and grappler in this matchup.
Jake Collier (-425) vs Chris Barnett
Two big boys lock horns in the UFC 279 prelim opener. Jake Collier is going to be way bigger (half a foot taller, three inches of reach) than Chris Barnett, and the better technical fighter with the better all-around game. Plus, Collier has alternated wins and losses over all 11 of his UFC fights, and he lost his last fight, so….
Norma Dumont (-455) vs Danyelle Wolf
Danyelle Wolf was an Olympic-level boxer in her past life, but has had only one pro MMA fight, a win on Dana White’s Contender Series in a fight that she was outstruck in. Norma Dumont is a pretty big step up in competition, plus she’s seven years younger.
Chad Anheliger (+140) vs Alatengheili
Here’s Canadian #2, and underdog #1. Chad Anheliger is on a 10-fight win streak and should be the much better striker in this fight against Alatengheili. Anheliger’s one weakness is his submission defense, having lost via sub in all five of his pro losses. Alatengheili isn’t much of a submission savant (he’s never even attempted one in the UFC), so ‘The Monster’ should be safe.
Melissa Martinez (-165) vs Elise Reed
Melissa Martinez enters the UFC with a perfect 7-0 record and as a former Combate champion. She’s been on the shelf since December of 2019, which is a concern, but she should outclass Elise Reed, who has gone 1-2 in the UFC. Oh, and she has dynamite in her limbs, winning by knockout five times.
Yohan Lainesse (+108) vs Darian Weeks
Here’s Canadian #3, and underdog #2. Both Yohan Lainesse (0-1) and Darian Weeks (0-2) are looking for their first UFC victory, and I’m betting on Lainesse to obtain it. I like his power (six knockouts in eight wins), length (four inches of reach advantage), and strong grappling to get the job done.
Overall Record: 846-578
Return on Investment: 3.1%