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UFC 279 main card preview & best bets – September 10, 2022

UFC betting tips

After conquering Paris with a card that exceeded all expectations, the UFC returns to its spiritual home in Las Vegas for a fight list that may not satisfy the purists but should contain some exciting matchups. Let’s delve into the fights to see if we can uncover some profitable wagers.

Li Jingliang vs Tony Ferguson

Li Jingliang (19-7-0) is a tough, hard-hitting Chinese fighter who is almost certain to send his opponent into retirement here. Li last fought in July 2022 when he dispatched Dagestani warrior Muslim Salikhov via KO with a flurry of punches and elbows that forced the ref to intervene. Prior to that in Li was choked in short order by the one and only Khamzat Chimaev, who headlines this card. And the fight before that was in January 2021 that finished with an impressive KO of Santiago Ponzinibbio. Li is part of a wave of Chinese fighters that has swept through the MMA world, and we are extremely confident he gets the job done here before the final bell.

Tony Ferguson (26-7-0) is one of the toughest men to ever enter the UFC octagon. Ferguson made his debut way, way back in September 2011 and is a huge fan-favourite due his wild fighting style and eccentric mannerisms. Ferguson is now 38 years old and it’s fair to say that he has lost his race against Father Time. He enters this contest on a four-fight losing streak, albeit against top-shelf contenders in Michael Chandler, Beneil Dariush, current welterweight champ Charles Oliveira, and Justin Gaethje. No matter what occurs in this bout, we can be sure that Ferguson will go out on his shield, hopefully after announcing his retirement and before he sustains any further damage.

Li Jingliang to win


Kevin Holland v Daniel Rodriguez

After back-to-back 2021 decision losses to Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori, and then a no contest against Kyle Daukaus, Kevin Holland (23-7-0) has turned his career of late with a return to the welterweight division, where he looks much more formidable. Holland knocked out Alex Oliveira with a rush of elbows in March 2022, and then choked out Tim Means in devastating fashion in June 2022. At his best Holland is a tricky and dangerous opponent for any fighter, both on the feet and the mat. We are expecting Holland to prevail in this evenly matched contest.

READ: Best sportsbooks for UFC betting odds

Daniel Rodriguez (16-2-0) is a late-blooming welterweight who might be ready to hit the big time. After an early life of crime and punishment, Rodriguez began boxing and MMA training in his mid-twenties and fought in multiple promotions until finally earning his UFC call-up in February 2020, where he casually choked out Means via guillotine. Since the debut, Rodriguez has built a solid 6-1 record with his only blemish being a controversial split-decision loss to Nicolas Dalby. Rodriguez has beaten Kevin Lee, Preston Parsons, and Mike Perry in his last three outings, and this matchup looks a genuine FOTN candidate.

Kevin Holland to win


Irene Aldana v Macy Chiasson

Mexico’s Irene Aldana (13-6-0) has all the tools required to reach the top of the bantamweight division. If there is something missing from her arsenal, it might be a lack of raw aggression, a killer instinct. Her recent record includes wins against Yana Kunitskaya and Ketlen Vieira, and decision losses to former champ Holly Holm and credible challenger Raquel Pennington. We are backing Aldana to recapture the mongrel tenacity she displayed against Kunitskaya.

Macy Chiasson (9-2-0) joined the UFC with a perfect 5-0 record in 2019 and has since recorded handy victories against unranked opponents Shanna Young, Marion Reneau, and Norma Dumont, along with losses to Raquel Pennington and Lina Lansberg. Chiasson is blessed with genetic advantages in height and reach that have helped her forge a fighting career. She stands 5’11” with a 72-inch reach, but these attributes will be of less importance against Aldana, who is 5’9″ with a 68.5-inch reach. If you enjoy watching tall women slug it out, this fight will be unforgettable.

Irene Aldana to win


Johnny Walker vs Ion Cutelaba

Johnny Walker (18-7-0) burst onto the UFC fight scene in 2018 with three electrifying KO victories. The rangy Brazilian fought without regard for his safety and left his opponents stunned with spinning backfists and flying knees. Then reality hit, and Walker has lost four out of his last five bouts to Jamahal Hill, Thiago Santos, Nikita Krylov, and Corey Anderson. During that time Walker has changed camps several times and now fights out of SGB Ireland under John Kavanagh, Conor McGregor’s long-time mentor. Walker is probably only one loss away from being cut from the UFC roster, so this is a do-or-die outing. It’s time for Walker to forget about the flashy manoeuvres and put it altogether.

Ion Cutelaba (16-7-1) is a hard-hitting Moldovan who also desperately needs to find a win. Cutelaba boasts only two wins from his last seven bouts – a points victory over Devin Clark and a KO of Khalil Rountree Jr. His losses include credible names such as Ryan Spann, former champ Glover Teixeira, and successive defeats to Magomed Ankalaev. Cutelaba is probably also nearing the danger zone and may need to win this bout to hold his place on the UFC roster. It’s hard to split these two, but we are leaning toward Cutelaba. Walker was knocked out cold in his last fight and might not be the same after the flattening.

Ion Cutelaba to win


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