In the main event of the evening, tenured fan favorite Nate Diaz will step into the Octagon for presumably the last time in his 15-year run with the promotion. On that night, he will meet undefeated welterweight monster Khamzat Chimaev. With five-straight wins in the UFC and 11-0 overall, ‘Borz’ has looked nearly unbeatable and will present Diaz with a tough task as he already appears to have one foot out the door.
Also returning at UFC 279 is former lightweight interim champion, Tony Ferguson. After losing four straight at 155-pounds, ‘El Cucuy’ makes the jump to 170-pounds. Looking to get back on the winning track, Ferguson will face Li Jingliang. 3-2 in his last five outings, a win over Ferguson would give ‘The Leech’ the biggest win of his MMA career thus far.
“Coming off the knockout [loss] with Michael Chandler three months ago. Maybe they could have given [Tony Ferguson] someone easier for his first venture at welterweight,” said Adesanya. “It’s a big name in ‘The Leech.’ It’s a tough fight. His boxing is weird. I like it, but it’s weird. Somewhat unorthodox. Ferguson needs to get back to the sh*t that made him really good. His scrambles. One thing I really liked about his on [The Ultimate Fighter] was his scrambles. He was able to escape takedown attempts with granby rolls out of odd angles.
“[Tony] is too tough for his own good. Anywho, I’m gonna pick ‘The Leech.’ I think he’s just got momentum on his side. Like I said, momentum is a powerful thing. When momentum’s on your side… Is going one way, you’re winning. You can use that force, that energy. It’s the same thing the other way if someone’s on the slide.”
The wait is over – #UFC279 fight week starts RIGHT NOW!!
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Israel Adesanya Believes Nate Diaz Will Shock The World Once Again at UFC 279
Turning his attention to the main event of the evening, ‘The Last Stylebender’ takes a deep dive into the history of both Nate Diaz and Khamzat Chimaev before making his official prediction.
“Now we have Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz. The first time I saw Nate was on TUF season five. He won that season. There’s just so many iconic moments even before the Conor McGregor moment. There’s so many iconic ones. Kurt Pellegrino triangle. F*cking flex, flip the bird. Takanori Gomi, the way he beat him. I think his boxing in that fight just… He always had a wide stance as well. Maybe just to bring himself down to those guys’ level. The way he boxed him up and then guillotined him. That second Gray Maynard fight, that may be my favorite Nate Diaz fight.”
Speaking about Khamzat Chimaev, Israel Adesanya was especially impressed with his performance against Li Jingliang at UFC 267. After recovering from a tough bout with COVID-19 that kept him out of action for over a year, ‘Borz’ returned without missing a beat against ‘The Leech.’
“The one that made me impressed was the ‘Leech’ fight because Khamzat just mauled him. Picked him up, put him in front of Dana, and then choked him out. Put him to sleep. I never seen anyone do that to ‘Leech’ before. People still doubted him. They were like, ‘Oh yeah, wait till he fights top competition.’ Then he goes to fight Gilbert Burns. Big jump in competition. This is what made me like him.”
Israel Adesanya is going against the grain and the bookmakers. The reigning middleweight king believes that Nate Diaz will once again shock the world as he did against Conor McGregor at UFC 196.
“If Chimaev’s gonna win, I’m gonna say decision. If Nate’s gonna win, I think he’s gonna finish him later on. It’d be hard to say decision, but I think Chimaev’s going to gas and around the third, fourth, fifth. Third or fourth and Nate just takes over and just TKO’s or submits him. He’s shocked the world before. Conor McGregor, no one expected him to win. Even back then I didn’t expect him to win.”
Currently, Khamzat Chimaez is a -1000 favorite on multiple sports betting outlets.