UFC 279 is on the map for this weekend and it’ll mark the return of Nate Diaz. Long one of the most popular fighters in the sport, Diaz is set to take on one of the sport’s rising stars: Khamzat Chimaev. After a scintillating card in Paris, France last week, get ready for plenty more fireworks this Saturday.

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Looking at it from a betting perspective, we should get some good bouts going this weekend. Let’s see if we can find some value on the lines.

Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz

Odds at BAS: Chimaev -1600

The five-round main event pits undefeated welterweight star Khamzat Chimaev up against the veteran fighter Nate Diaz. Chimaev has worked his way to an 11-0 record and just eked out a unanimous decision victory against Gilbert Burns back in April. For the first time in the Octagon, Chimaev actually looked beatable against Burns but considering how dominant he was before that, he deserves the benefit of the doubt. The main question many are wondering is whether it was the step up in competition, the style or that Chimaev maybe lacked focus. He had never even been to the third round in an MMA fight before that, finishing all previous 10 fighters.

Meanwhile, Diaz is coming into this bout after dropping his last two matchups. However, he’s always fought the best of the best, so it’s not as if he’s losing to cupcakes.

Diaz has garnered a reputation for playing the spoiler in his fights, especially when he nearly took over in a fight against Leon Edwards not long ago. That begs the question if he’s worth a value play here? The price is just too high on Chimaev, so take a flier on Diaz.

Pick: Diaz +630

Li Jingliang vs. Tony Ferguson

Odds at BAS: Jingliang -250

Tony Ferguson just can’t seem to get his career back on track. He’ll have an opportunity once again this Saturday but the oddsmakers at BetAnySports aren’t expecting a turnaround.

Li Jingliang is coming into this matchup right after picking up Performance of the Night honors back in July. He stumbled against Chimaev at UFC 267 but then bounce back by taking down Muslim Salikhov in the second round in his following fight. He’s put together an 11-5 record in the Octagon and seems to be blossoming more and more in each fight that he competes in. He’s going to have his work cut out for him when Tony Ferguson steps up to the plate.

Ferguson will be fighting in the 170-pound weight division for the first time as he tries to shake things up. He had won 12 straight fights to start his career but has since lost four in a row. Two of the losses were by knockout and they seem to have really rocked his confidence. He’s just too tough to trust right now.

Pick: Jingliang -250

Irene Aldana vs. Macy Chiasson

Odds at BAS: Aldana -175

Irene Aldana is stepping back into the Octagon for the first time since her first-round stoppage victory against Yana Kunitskaya in July last of 2021. Over the course of her last four fights, she’s been able to win three of them – including first-round finishes of Kunitskaya and Ketlen Vieira.

On the other hand, Macy Chiasson has picked up five wins out of her last seven bouts. There have been some worries regarding her struggles against veteran opponents, but she’s consistently improving from fight to fight.

These two bantamweight fighters have a serious opportunity to climb the rankings even more with the uncertainty of the rankings in the division. The winner of this particular battle could end up pushing themselves far up the rankings.

Chiasson is scrappy and rarely gets finished early. A good bet in this spot might be for it to go the distance. Four of her last five have lasted that far.

Pick: Fight to Go the Distance