MMA

UFC 279: Tony Ferguson vs Nate Diaz Picks, Predictions, Odds

Nate Diaz vs Tony Ferguson
September 11, 2022 12:05 am EDT
The Line: Tony Ferguson -133 / Nate Diaz +113
(Click here for latest betting odds)

Nate Diaz and Tony Ferguson fight Saturday in UFC 279 at the T-Mobile Arena. Diaz enters this fight with a 20-13 record and has won 55 percent of his fights by submission. Ferguson enters this fight with a 25-7 record and has won 48 percent of his fights by knockout. 

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.

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.

Diaz seems like the more motivated fighter with the way everything has played out over the last week or so. He’s got a chip on his shoulder and that makes him dangerous. And as poor as Ferguson has looked in his last few fights, you can make a case for the plus money here. However, Ferguson probably has a little more left in the tank at this point, he’s the more volume striker and his elbows are sure to give Diaz issues given the way he bleeds easily. This feels like a brawler style fight that Ferguson needed to get back on track.

I’ll take Ferguson and the cheap price. 

Randy Chambers's Free Pick:
Tony Ferguson -133

Randy Chambers

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