UFC 279 Betting Preview – Khamzat Chimaev remains distinct favorite to finish Nate Diaz in September

Khamzat Chimaev
Mandatory Credit: James Gilbert

After opening as high as a whopping -1100 favorite following the initial announcement of his UFC 279 return next month, undefeated welterweight contender, Khamzat Chimaev still remains a distinct favorite to not only defeat opponent, Nate Diaz – but to finish the Stockton veteran in ‘Sin City’.

AllStars mainstay, Khamzat Chimaev, has enjoyed nothing short of a real roughshod run through competition at welterweight since his July 2020 UFC landing pad, albeit in a brief middleweight excursion.

Pitted with Diaz on September 10. at the T-Mobile Arena, Chimaev initially opened as a gargantuan betting favorite against the one-time lightweight title challenger, in one of the widest lines for a fight of this billing and stature in recent memory. 

Chimaev has featured once inside the Octagon already this year, earning his status as the #3 ranked contender at 170lbs with a close, hard-fought unanimous decision win over one-time title challenger, Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 in April.

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As for Diaz, the Californian has yet to return to active competition – despite his best intentions since June of last year, where he suffered a one-sided judging loss of his own against incoming UFC 278 headliner, Leon Edwards. 

The added caveat with next month’s pay-per-view headliner between Chimaev and Diaz comes in the form of the latter’s contract with the promotion – which becomes void regardless of result, as Diaz completes his contractual obligations.

Khamzat Chimaev once sat as high as a -1400 favorite over Nate Diaz

Touted as a surefire route for the promotion to shoehorn Chimaev into a championship tilt, UFC leader, Dana White has claimed Diaz would earned his own shot at promotional spoils should he spring one of the most surprising upsets in Octagon antiquity.

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“I mean, obviously, if Nate (Diaz) beats Khamzat Chimaev, the number three guy in the world, you’d have to look at Nate, too [for a title shot],” Dana White said. “Everybody’s talking… like that it’s impossible for Nate Diaz to win this fight. Nothing is impossible in fighting. Everything is possible.”

“Nate Diaz wanted this fight,” Dana White explained. “It was either this fight or Francis Ngannou. This fight makes a lot more sense than Francis does. But, you know, for everybody to think that a veteran who’s as durable as Nate Diaz can’t win this fight is insane, so anything is possible. … You get out of the first two rounds and the fight gets interesting.”

Drifting out as short as a staggering -1400 at one stage since the booking of his fight against Diaz – whilst consulting Betsquare, Chechen-born berserker, Chimaev can be backed at Pokies online Australia to defeat Diaz before the distance on September 10.

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Diaz, who has been finished just three times in his professional – twice courtesy of TKO and a submission loss to Hermes França, has been touted the sport over for his grit and durability, however, given Khamzat Chimaev’s dominance – both on the feet or from a vertical landing, the 11-0 wrecker is more than widely expected to dispatch Diaz, removing the judge’s scorecards from the equation. 

UFC 279 takes place on September 10. from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada – with both Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz topping the flagship card.

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.