UFC 279 Chimaev vs. Diaz First Look, Betting Picks, Odds and Predictions

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Editor’s Note: After a reshuffling of the main card due to a change in Chimaev’s weight class, Nate Diaz will fight against Tony Ferguson, and Khamzat Chimaev will fight against Kevin Holland.

On September 10, the UFC returns to our screens for a highly stacked pay-per-view event from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

UFC welterweight superstars Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz will lock horns in the center of the octagon for the main event of the evening.

Read on for our complete betting guide with an early preview of the UFC 279 championship headliner between Chimaev and Diaz, including updated UFC odds and our free expert UFC 279 first look betting picks, predictions, and analysis.


Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz

UFC 279 Welterweight Main Event Bout

Saturday, September 10, 2022 – 10:00 PM EDT at T-Mobile Arena

Khamzat “Borz” Chimaev

  • Pro MMA Record: 11-0-0 (5 KOs, 5 submissions, 1 decision)

For those unfamiliar with the name Khamzat Chimaev, my only explanation could be that you’ve been living under a rock with a television that only supplies the golf channel.

Born and raised in Chechnya, Russia but training out of Allstars Training Center in Sweden, Chimaev first made his presence known during the midst of the pandemic in 2020. However, crowd-less venues didn’t prevent the Russian from dominating the opposition in his UFC debut. Two weeks later, Chimaev made history when defeating another opponent inside the distance, but many questioned if the hype was real.

Successes over John Phillips and Rhys McKee weren’t exactly the most exceptional level of competition. Still, when Chimaev made another quick return to the octagon two months later, a round one knockout stoppage over Gerald Meerschaert started causing heads to turn.

The Fastest Rising Superstar on the UFC Roster

An elite-level grappling offense and a proven ability to knockout his opponents in unison with a unique personality propelled Chimaev into the spotlight. His rise and domineering results through the UFC rankings were reminiscent of Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, and the polarizing MMA legends that came before him.

Following a year-long absence due to illness, Chimaev was pitted with a top-ten ranked challenge, and a round one rear naked choke victory against Jingliang Li silenced any remaining nay-sayers.

In his most notable victory to date, Chimaev endured an entire five-round battle for the first time in his professional career. Still, a unanimous decision victory over the former title challenger and top-5 ranked Gilbert Burns solidified “Borz” as one of the company’s elites.

Entertaining outside the cage, equally to his in-octagon performances, is why Chimaev is loved. And at UFC 279, he’ll main event the pay-per-view without a championship up for grabs, further proof of his star power and awe.

Khamzat Chimeav Combat Sports Accomplishments

  • UFC Performance of the Night (Four times)
  • UFC Fight of the Night (One time)
  • Record holder for the fastest consecutive wins in modern UFC history (ten days)
  • Record holder for quickest three-fight win streak in modern UFC history (66 days)
  • 2015, 2016, and 2018 Swedish Wrestling Champion

Khamzat Chimaev Best Available Odds: (-1500) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)


Nate Diaz

  • Pro MMA Record: 20-13-0 (4 KOs, 15 submissions, 4 decisions)

Having competed on the UFC roster since 2007, a fifteen-year tenure competing at the highest level of MMA has naturally produced some wear and tear on Stockton, California’s fighting hero.

However, aged 37-years-old, Nate Diaz isn’t ready to hang up the gloves as he’ll attempt to derail one of the most dangerous competitors in the welterweight division next weekend.

A UFC Legend

On the topic of polarizing figures, Diaz has long combined an edgy personality with an in-octagon determination like no other.

Most known for his ability to take damage and fight his way to success, the UFC legend raised his stock significantly when going to war with Conor McGregor in 2016.

Submitting McGregor handed the Irishman his first professional loss, as Diaz notably stole a lot of hype from the UFCs most recognized athlete to date.

Diaz doesn’t own the prettiest record, but you’ll notice the sheer number of post-fight bonuses he’s earned through his career losses. This is because Diaz boasts a fight till the death attitude, and when this is mixed with a don’t give a f*** perspective, win or lose, it’s a recipe for success.

Nate Diaz's Combat Sports Accomplishments

  • The Ultimate Fighter Season 5 winner
  • UFC Fight of the Night (Eight times)
  • UFC Performance of the Night (One time) vs. Conor McGregor
  • UFC Knockout of the Night (One time) vs. Gray Maynard
  • UFC Submission of the Night (Five times)
  • Tied with Jim Miller for the most submission wins in UFC Lightweight division history (7)
  • Tied for the most Fight of the Night bonuses in UFC history (8)

Nate Diaz Best Available Odds: (+700) at BetOnline


UFC 279: Chimaev vs. Diaz: Breakdown and Analysis

Diaz's Fight Style and How Can Diaz Defeat Chimaev?

Diaz is undoubtedly a complete fighter with a skill set that covers both striking and grappling offenses. He doesn’t own the most significant takedown offense, but his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has prevailed in contests on countless occasions.

His willingness to put pressure on his opponents is unlike no other; whether winning or losing a fight, you can guarantee he’ll be walking forward, often with blood dripping down his face, looking to engage in a physical war.

The Stockton representative oozes durability with durability in his chin that’s rarely tested. Although he’s proud of his BJJ black belt, he’s a street fighter by nature with excellent boxing fundamentals.

How will this fare against the force that is Chimaev? Unfortunately, I don’t believe it will. However, the disapproving nature of Diaz’s chance of victory is reminiscent of the first McGregor bout, and a shock submission finish is a viable path I give the UFC legend.

Chimaev's fight style & how can Chimaev defeat Diaz?

Often compared to Khabib Nurmagomedov, Chimaev’s primary fighting skill falls behind his offensive wrestling. He’s compared to Khabib due to his style of control on the ground, utilizing techniques such as the Dagestani handcuffs and controlling the opponent’s legs to limit their movement.

He boasts heavy top control and, most importantly, a killer-like instinct to finish the fight via submission or ground and pound.

Chimaev isn’t the most technical striker, but his defensive attributes have been remarkable. During his first two UFC appearances, he’d taken a mere 2 shots up against his 192 landed. Traditional boxing is, however, complimented with power (see Gerald Meerschaert).

I believe Chimaev can win this fight via knockout, submission, or decision; the question is, can he break the will of Diaz to achieve the former?


Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz Prediction and Odds

The available UFC odds at Bookmakers Review are astonishing; we rarely witness such a high-priced moneyline in an MMA fight, but Chimaev is sitting at -1500.

Do I want to wager $1500 to win $100? No. Betting this would be irresponsible gambling ethics, and although I give Chimaev a 90% chance of victory, we don’t want to risk damaging our long-term ROI% at this price.

The available odds for the over 1.5 rounds haven’t been released at the time of writing, but I’m very interested to see the value which the top-rated sportsbooks offer.

Diaz will likely be on the wrong end of a knockout or submission finish, but I don’t envision this happening within the initial ten minutes of the bout.

UFC Pick: Over 1.5 Rounds (-165) at BetOnline

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Over 1.5 Rounds (-165)
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UFC 279 Main Card

  • Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz [UFC welterweight main event bout]
  • Jingliang Li vs. Tony Ferguson [UFC lightweight co-main event bout]
  • Irene Aldana vs. Macy Chiasson [UFC women’s featherweight bout]
  • Johnny Walker vs. Ion Cutelaba [UFC light heavyweight bout]
  • Kevin Holland vs. Daniel Rodriguez [UFC welterweight bout]

UFC 279 Preliminary Card

  • Norma Dumont vs. Danyelle Wolf [UFC women’s featherweight bout]
  • Jamie Pickett vs. Denis Tiuliulin [middleweight bout]
  • Chad Anheliger vs. Heili Alateng [UFC bantamweight bout]
  • Elise Reed vs. Melissa Martinez [UFC women’s strawweight bout]
  • Jake Collier vs. Chris Barnett [UFC heavyweight bout]
  • Hakeem Dawodu vs. Julian Erosa [UFC featherweight bout]
  • Darian Weeks vs. Yohan Lainesse [UFC welterweight bout]
  • Jailton Almeida vs. Anton Turkalj [UFC light heavyweight bout]

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.