Best UFC 279 Bets: Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz Picks

  • Date & Location: Saturday, September 10 @ T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Time: Early Prelims (6:00 p.m. ET), Prelims (8 p.m. ET), Main Card (10 p.m. ET)
  • How to Watch: Early Prelims (ESPN+), Prelims (ESPNEWS). Main Card (ESPN + pay-per-view)

On Saturday, September 10, one of the most popular and longest-tenured fighters on the current UFC roster faces one of the promotion’s most explosive rising stars in the main event of the UFC 279 pay-per-view card. Here is some background on the event’s headliners before we discuss, in detail, the UFC 279 betting breakdown.

In the contest, Nate Diaz, who joined the UFC in 2007 with a win during Season 5 of The Ultimate Fighter, meets Khamzat Chimaev, who joined the UFC in 2020 and quickly climbed to the No. 3 spot in the official UFC welterweight rankings on the strength of five straight wins. Chimaev, who had finished in his first four UFC outings, is coming off an April decision win over former UFC welterweight title challenger Gilbert Burns. Diaz, who is on the last fight of his current UFC contract, is 1-3 in his past three UFC contests. Diaz last competed in June 2021 when he lost a decision to now UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards.

Before we look at the bout between Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz on the UFC 279 PPV card, which streams on ESPN+, check out the best UFC betting sites and where you can find the best odds on all the UFC fights.

UFC 279 Picks: Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz

To Win UFC 279 Main EventBetOnlineBovadaGTBets
Nate Diaz+700+700+720
Khamzat Chimaev-1500-1600-1120

Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz breakdown and analysis

Nate Diaz could have waited to fight Conor McGregor sometime in 2023. That matchup seemed like the one the UFC wanted to make. However, Diaz, who wants to exit his UFC contract sooner rather than later to explore other avenues — including a possible boxing matchup opposite Jake Paul — accepted a much more dangerous fight when he agreed to meet Khamzat Chimaev.

Diaz is a blown-up lightweight. Chimaev is a capable middleweight who can still make the cut to welterweight. Chimaev is taller than Diaz, but Diaz has a one-inch reach advantage. However, when it comes to power and strength, Chimaev stands head and shoulders above his foe in this matchup.

Barring a collapse of Chimaev’s cardio, I don’t see a path to victory here for Diaz. Chimaev is the better and more powerful striker, and he is more than capable on the mat. I know some will point to Diaz’s grappling game, which is excellent, but he rarely employs that by choice, and his only submission in the past nine years came against Conor McGregor, who is not strong on the mat.

In short, Diaz should be commended for taking this fight because, on paper, Chimaev is a nightmare matchup for him.

Pick: Khamzat Chimaev to defeat Nate Diaz.

Khamzat ChimaevTO BEAT NATE DIAZ
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Who has the edge

The stats that give me pause ahead of this fight are all on Khamzat Chimaev’s side of the equation. Chimaev lands 7.89 significant strikes per minute, which is the second highest number in UFC history. With Diaz’s willingness to engage in brawls and the ease with which he cuts, that’s a number that cannot be ignored when making UFC 279 bets.

Another number that could influence UFC 279 bets is that Chimaev is also one of the most accurate strikers in UFC history. His 59.8 percent significant striking accuracy is 10th best in UFC history. Much like Chimaev’s output, the rate at which he lands should be a concern when considering UFC 279 betting picks.

Lastly, Chimaev does not get hit nearly as much as he lands. His striking differential of plus 3.59 is the fifth highest in UFC history and third among active UFC fighters.

I expect this fight to be contested on the feet mostly, and with that, Chimaev has a clear advantage over Diaz.

Prediction: Khamzat Chimaev to win via TKO.

Khamzat ChimaevTO BEAT NATE DIAZ
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Best UFC 279 bets

The easy bet for the UFC 279 main event is Khamzat Chimaev to win. After that, I favor him to win via stoppage. Diaz is resilient and tough, and he is not an easy out, but he cuts easily, and he has been absorbing a lot more strikes in his recent welterweight fights than he did earlier in his career. With his ability to stay in a fight and keep coming back after taking big damage, I think Chimaev wins this fight after the second round via TKO on strikes or possibly via doctor stoppage from cuts.

Best UFC 279 Picks: Khamzat Chimaev to beat Nate Diaz via TKO.

Khamzat ChimaevTO BEAT NATE DIAZ
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Trent Reinsmith

Trent covers UFC and MMA for MTS. He has written for USA Today Sports, Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively among others. He has been involved with MMA since he and some friends threw some money together to purchase the pay-per-view of UFC 1, and the rest is history.

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