MMA

Canceled: UFC 279: Nate Diaz vs Khamzat Chimaev Picks, Predictions, Odds

Khamzat Chimaev vs Nate Diaz
September 1, 2022 11:50 pm EDT
The Line: Nate Diaz +900 / Khamzat Chimaev -1800
(Click here for latest betting odds)

Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz fight Saturday in UFC 279 at the T-Mobile Arena. Chimaev enters this fight with an 11-0 record and has won 55 percent of his fights by knockout. Diaz enters this fight with a 20-13 record and has won 55 percent of his fights by submission.

This will be Chimaev’s third fight since 2021 and is coming off an April win over Gilbert Burns. Chimaev is averaging 7.89 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 59 percent. Chimaev is averaging 3.23 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 66 percent. Chimaev is coming off a decision win at UFC 273 where he landed 124 total strikes and produced 2 takedowns. The bout earned fight of the night honors, the fifth straight fight Chimaev has earned a bonus. It was the first time Chimaev has gone the distance, and this will be his first time fighting a 5 round fight. Chimaev has a background in wrestling and usually keeps his opponent on the ground once he gets it there, always fighting for position and changing guard. Chimaev can be a bit sloppy with the standup, but he has power in his hands and typically swings with a purpose while producing 6 knockouts. Chimaev has had just 1 fight make it out of the second round through 11 pro fights. This will be Chimaev’s second career fight in Nevada.

Diaz has split his last 8 fights and is coming off a June (2021) loss to Leon Edwards. He is averaging 4.51 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 45 percent. Diaz is averaging 1.10 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 30 percent. Diaz is coming off a decision loss at UFC 263 where he landed 130 total strikes but was taken down 4 times. Diaz now hopes to avoid 3 straight losses for the first time in his career, and he’s looking for his first win since UFC 241. It’s no secret what you get with Diaz, as his cardio is at an elite level, and he’s arguably the toughest fighter in the sport. Even at 37 years old, Diaz can take a clean shot and keep coming forward. He doesn’t back down from anybody and still has ridiculous confidence despite no longer being in his prime. Diaz usually gets stronger as the fight goes on, and that’s when his work rate usually increases and the bombs start flying. Diaz is also a third degree black belt in BJJ and has won 4 fights via the guillotine choke. The issue with Diaz is this will be just his fourth fight since UFC 202 and the inconsistent schedule with long layoffs makes it tough to figure out exactly what to expect. This will be Diaz’s 11th career fight in Nevada.

The betting public is going to take a shot with Diaz because of the insane plus money and the fact most are big fans of his care free, street attitude. However, there are reasons why Diaz is a massive, massive underdog. One, Chimaev is a downright animal, and he’s beaten his opponents to a pulp up to this point. Also, Diaz is a shell of the fighter he was several years ago. Diaz is slower, less accurate, and he bleeds crazy whenever getting tagged. Also, Diaz doesn’t fight enough to build a rhythm or even create confidence to be given a fair chance in a fight like this. 

Give me Chimaev to win inside distance, as this fight likely isn’t going to be a close.

Randy Chambers's Free Pick:
Khamzat Chimaev Inside Distance

Randy Chambers

Randy has covered sports betting since 2014 and writes about everything from NFL to WNBA.
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