Third-ranked welterweight Khamzat Chimaev missed weight by wide margin on Friday as UFC 279 approached. That disrupted the UFC 279 card in a huge way as three top fights were shuffled around. Nate Diaz, who was Chimaev’s original opponent, will now face Tony Ferguson in the main event on Saturday in Las Vegas. Chimaev is now facing Kevin Holland in a catchweight fight that will serve as the co-main event. Holland’s previously scheduled opponent, Daniel Rodriguez, will now take on Li Jingliang in another catchweight fight.
The main UFC 279 fight card is set for 10 p.m. ET, with the prelims starting at 8 p.m. ET. Caesars Sportsbook lists Ferguson as the -135 favorite (risk $135 to win $100) against Diaz (+115) in the UFC 279 odds. Chimaev is listed at -550, with Holland now at +400. Before making any UFC 279 picks, make sure you check out the MMA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine expert Kyle Marley.
Marley won the first-ever “ToutMaster” UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and daily Fantasy shows. He watches every single fight for every professional MMA card and does extensive research before each event.
Over the past three-plus years, $100 bettors who have followed Marley’s picks are up more than $13,000. The accomplished MMA analyst kicked off the 2022 UFC season in January by advising SportsLine members to support Calvin Kattar (+200) against Giga Chikadze (-240) in the featherweight main event. Kattar’s lopsided unanimous-decision victory gave Marley’s followers another easy winner. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, he’s turned his attention to the UFC 279 fight card and locked in his best bets. You can only see his MMA picks at SportsLine.
UFC 279: Nate Diaz vs. Tony Ferguson preview
The two UFC legends will step in to face each other after the scheduled Diaz vs. Chimaev fell apart. It’s a huge opportunity for Ferguson, a former UFC Lightweight Champion who is on a four-fight losing streak and is making his return to welterweight for the first time since 2011. With Ferguson stepping in on such short notice, the expectations will be relatively low and he could certainly revive his star status with a win given the circumstances.
Meanwhile, Diaz has lost three of his last four fights so there’s still plenty to fight for on his end as he looks to put himself back into the title picture. He’ll have the significant length advantage over a fighter who is moving up a weight class but will that be enough to overcome the ring rust for a fighter who has only taken three fights in the last six years? You can see who to back here.