So it is Nate Diaz vs. Tony Ferguson in the main event of the UFC 279. Last-minute changes brought together two veterans of this sport who are among the most popular figures in the UFC and MMA in general. Khamzat Chimaev missed weight for his main event with Diaz, and before that, he almost got into a fight with Kevin Holland, so the UFC had a brilliant idea – let’s switch Ferguson for Khamzat, who will battle with Holland, whose previously arranged rival, Daniel Rodriguez will battle Li Jinglinag who was supposed to clash with Ferguson. Pretty messed up, we understand you.
Nate Diaz (+150) was preparing for a fight with a ruthless grappler and wrestler, but instead, he’ll have an opponent who likes to accept a brawl in the middle of the ring and exchange a few punches. And that is a perfect fit for the boys from Stockton who grew up to be one of the baddest people in the UFC. As we said before, it is a pity Nate didn’t use his prime years to show all of his talents.
Diaz is a Jiu Jitsu black belt, and his grappling is excellent, which we saw throughout his career, having won 11 times by submission. Overall, Nate has 20 wins and 13 defeats of which three came in the previous four bouts.
He could have avoided the latest one against Leon Edwards. The current welterweight champion was rolling over Diaz for four and a half rounds, before feeling the power of the American’s punches which nearly sent him to the floor. Diaz could have finished Rocky, but decided to tease him and create one of the epic pictures of the UFC. That is why Nate Diaz is so big.
Tony Ferguson (-150) is equally important for the UFC and has his own fanbase. El Cucuy was once the unstoppable machine with 12 straight wins, before losing to Justin Gaethje in the lightweight interim title fight. After that, he lost to Charles Oliveira, Beneil Dariush, and Michael Chandler.
Following a defeat to Chandler, which was a second-round front kick KO, Ferguson decided to move up to the welterweight. At the start of career El Cucuy fought in this division, but his results were nowhere near those in the lightweight.
A fabulous striker with a fantastic chin, Ferguson was a nightmare in his prime, punishing his rivals with each step they made in the octagon. There weren’t many fighters in the UFC as ruthless and relentless as El Cucuy.
Nate is feeling natural in welterweight, and on the other side, Ferguson is back here after a long pause, and we don’t know how will his body react to this change. He is heavier, yet probably slower, and with a bit thinner gas tank. But even if this wasn’t the case, we would go with Diaz, who is better on the mat than El Cucuy, and at some point of the fight, he will try to take advantage of that. Diaz prepared a game plan for Khamzat, who is dominant on the ground, and why not use it against a guy who is far weaker in that area.
Pick: Diaz wins +130
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.