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In a strange turn of events, the three top fights on the main card played a game of musical chairs. Tony Ferguson will now face Nate Diaz in the main event at welterweight at UFC 279. Can Ferguson rebound with a win?

Nate Diaz vs Tony Ferguson Prediction: Ferguson Looks to Rebound with Win over Diaz at UFC 279

In a strange turn of events, the three top fights on the main card played a game of musical chairs, as a botched weight cut from Khamzat Chimaev and a backstage fight forced Dana White and the UFC to scramble and salvage the card. Their solution? Tony Ferguson versus Nate Diaz in the main event at welterweight, Khamzat Chimaev versus Kevin Holland at 180 pounds catchweight in a five-round co-main event, and Jingliang Li versus Daniel Rodriguez. It seems the MMA world is happy with the result, and Dana White is probably even happier, as the backstage fight and subsequent fight rebookings have shown to drive interest in the PPV event. Tony Ferguson, as a result, has moved from a +240 underdog against Jingliang Li to a -125 favorite. Can Nate Diaz secure one last win in the UFC? Let's get into our prediction, pick, and odds for Nate Diaz vs Tony Ferguson at UFC 279.

Nate Diaz vs Tony Ferguson Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Saturday, September 10

Start Time: 10:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: PPV

Click Here for Diaz vs Ferguson Odds

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Nate Diaz vs Tony Ferguson Prediction

For starters, win or lose, this is Nate Diaz's last fight in the UFC, so right off the bat, there's a motivation factor at play. Leading up to what he thought was a fight against Khamzat Chimaev, Diaz talked in interviews about how he wasn't even training for the fight. Diaz has had one foot out the door for a while now, and he will probably go on to boxing Youtubers or something after this. Regardless, he is still a UFC veteran and legend, which is why the odds are so close.

Not to be outdone by Diaz, though, is the legend Tony "El Cucuy" Ferguson. Ferguson is a UFC legend who was on a twelve-fight win streak before running into Justin Gaethje in a lightweight title fight. Ferguson is not on a four-fight losing streak but has been going up against the top fighters in the division who are all younger and in their primes. Finally, El Cucuy gets a matchup that plays into his favor and is the favorite for a good reason.

Ferguson's primary path to victory in this fight is his devastating elbows. Ferguson has been known to have vicious elbows in the clinch and up against the fence. Ferguson excels in this dirty boxing style of fighting, which Nate Diaz is also accustomed to. Everyone knows at this point that Nate Diaz's face is shot after a career in the UFC, and the ongoing story is one of Diaz's scar tissue on his face that ends up playing a factor in all of his fights now. What's the number one thing that opens up face cuts? Elbows. Who better to get a doctor stoppage against Nate Diaz than one of the best elbow throwers in the game?

The main path to victory for Nate Diaz here is a submission. Diaz does not have the power at this point to knock Ferguson out as Chandler and Gaethje did. Diaz's 13 submission wins in 21 overall victories, and eight of his thirteen UFC wins have come by submission. However, Tony Ferguson is not the easiest guy to submit. Ferguson has only been submitted once in 33 professional fights, and he just fought Charles Oliveira in 2020. If Charles Oliveira didn't submit Ferguson, neither is Diaz.

Despite the focus on Ferguson's "decline," he has still been a dangerous fighter inside the octagon. 21 of Ferguson's 26 wins have come by finish, including 10 finishes in his 13 UFC wins. Ferguson has always performed well as a favorite, too. He is 11-2 as a favorite, proving he excels when catching the juice. This fight is tailor-made for Ferguson, and Diaz already has one foot out the door. I expect the elbows to get it done for Ferguson, but even if he doesn't finish him, the damage will get it done on the scorecards. Take Ferguson to get back in the win column.

Nate Diaz vs Tony Ferguson Pick

2U Pick: Tony Ferguson ML @ -120 (Bet $120 to win $100)

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Article Author


Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.


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