UFC 279 Fight Breakdown: Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz


MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC 279, a five-round welterweight bout between Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz. The event takes place on Saturday, September 10 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Khamzat Chimaev (-1150)

Chimaev (11-0) is the No. 3 ranked welterweight in the UFC. The 28-year-old Swede joined the UFC in 2020 and since then he is 5-0 in the Octagon with four of those wins coming by finish. After fighting lower-ranked opponents in his first two UFC fights, he’s beaten Gerald Meerschaert, Li Jingliang, and Gilbert Burns in his last three fights. Chimaev is one of the most well-rounded fighters right now at 170lbs. He has dominant wrestling and he uses it to take the fight to the ground or keep it standing depending on the matchup. We’ve seen him show off brutal ground and pound, tight submissions, and we’ve ever seen KO power on the feet. On top of that, we’ve seen that he is super tough himself and he has great conditioning. Overall, Chimaev is a fantastic welterweight, and if he is able to get past Diaz in an impressive fashion, we might see him fight for the 170lbs title in 2023.

Nate Diaz (+750)

Diaz (21-13) is currently unranked but is considered one of the most popular fighters in UFC history. The 37-year-old American joined the UFC back in 2006 and since then he is 15-11 inside the Octagon. He has fought and defeated many of the best fighters in the sport at both 155lbs and 170lbs over the years, including the likes of Conor McGregor, Anthony Pettis, and Jim Miller. Diaz is extremely tough, he has an outstanding gas tank, and he has great striking and submission skills. That being said, he is getting up there in age now, and we also know that he has a weakness when it comes to his takedown defense. On paper, this is a very hard fight for Diaz to win, and that’s why he is a huge underdog at the sportsbooks, although he’ll be looking to beat the odds in this fight.

Fight Breakdown: Like the betting line indicates, this should be a one-sided fight in favor of Chimaev. While it would be cool to see Diaz pull off a monster upset, it’s just very unlikely due to the stylistic nature of this matchup. We know that Diaz’s kryptonite historically has been his takedown defense, and we know that Chimaev is one of the most dominant grapplers at 170lbs right now. Chimaev should be able to take down Diaz at will and on the ground, we know he is always working to finish the fight. We also know that Diaz has some serious scar tissue and that he cuts easily. I see Chimaev taking Diaz down to the ground, landing nasty ground and pound, and eventually getting the stoppage due to TKO via cuts. Chimaev is a huge favorite here, but other than him gassing out in the later rounds and Diaz taking over, it’s hard to see Diaz having much of a chance in this fight.

Prediction: Khamzat Chimaev

Written by Adam Martin.


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