MMA

Canceled: UFC 279: Tony Ferguson vs Li Jingliang Picks, Predictions, Odds

Li Jingliang vs Tony Ferguson
September 1, 2022 11:25 pm EDT
The Line: Tony Ferguson +260 / Li Jingliang -310
(Click here for latest betting odds)

This fight has been canceled. Li Jingliang and Tony Ferguson fight Saturday in UFC 279 at the T-Mobile Arena. Li enters this fight with a 19-7 record and has won 53 percent of his fights by knockout. Ferguson enters this fight with a 25-7 record and has won 48 percent of his fights by knockout.

Li has won 9 of his last 12 fights and is coming off a July win over Muslim Salikhov. Li is averaging 4.39 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 42 percent. Li is averaging 1.27 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 40 percent. Li is coming off a knockout win at UFC on ABC 3 where he landed 40 total strikes and produced a takedown. The bout earned performance of the night, the fourth time Li has earned the bonus in his last 6 fights. Li is now 11-5 under the UFC banner, and he’s produced knockouts in 3 of his last 4 wins. Li is a black belt in BJJ, with power in both hands and impressive defense on the feet. Li is also an effective takedown artist who has 4 career submission victories. A balanced fighter from China, Li has produced finishes overall in 13 of his 19 victories. Li has never been knocked out in his career. This will be Li’s fourth career fight in Nevada.

Ferguson has lost 4 straight fights and is coming off a May loss to Michael Chandler. Ferguson is averaging 5.12 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 45 percent. Ferguson is averaging 0.41 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 42 percent. Ferguson is coming off a knockout loss at UFC 274 where he landed 27 total strikes until he was kicked in the face and knocked out cold. It will be interesting to see how Ferguson bounces back from such a loss, as he looks for his first win since UFC 238. When in good form, Ferguson is simply a savage in the octagon, with a high work rate and ridiculous cardio that allows him to keep pushing with the same pace in each round. Ferguson has a reputation for beating up fighters and leaving them in a bloody mess. While his striking is elite level, Ferguson is also tough to takedown, and he has a deep background in wrestling and is a black belt in BJJ. Ferguson was a champion high school and college wrestler, and he’s very comfortable on his back, where he’s no stranger to powerful strikes and can change position very quickly. However, Ferguson is a shell of himself at 38 years old and is coming off some ugly losses. This will be Ferguson’s ninth career fight in Nevada.

It would be cool to see Ferguson turn back the clock and pull off the upset, but we’ve seen him look bad several times now, and his last effort was concerning. He’s already been in wars throughout his career, but fighters usually aren’t the same once getting knocked out cold like that. Li is a power, volume striker, the type of fighter who could only add to Ferguson’s troubles. Yes, Ferguson has a massive reach advantage and maybe that helps, but I just can’t back him with any confidence. I’ve tried it just because I root for the guy, and I’ve been burned.

Give me Li inside distance to shave down the price.

Randy Chambers's Free Pick:
Li Jingliang Inside Distance

Randy Chambers

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