Nate Diaz tops list of UFC 279's biggest underdogs 1

Nate Diaz is no stranger to being up against the odds, but this weekend he’s set to enter as the biggest underdog of the entire UFC 279 fight card.

Diaz is set to make his return and fight out the final fight on his UFC contract this Saturday night in Las Vegas when he faces Khamzat Chimaev in a five-round main event bout. The Diaz vs. Chimaev fight, as well as the full UFC 279 main card, will only be available to watch on ESPN+ PPV.

Before the fights begin this weekend, let’s take a look at some of the biggest underdogs on the UFC 279 fight card.

UFC 279 biggest underdogs

Nate Diaz (+850) vs. Khamzat Chimaev (-1600)

Nate Diaz’s crazy +850 betting odds could very well be some of the craziest odds we’ve seen in a UFC main event bout. For those new to understanding betting odds, +850 odds mean that for every $100 wagered, it would return $850 if Diaz is successful. It’s a huge return and maybe best understood by the implied probability to win of just five percent.

That’s right. Bookmakers have Chimaev’s chances of winning this bout at close to 95 percent. In a sport where basically anything can happen at any time (see Edwards KO vs. Usman), one of the greatest comeback fighters in the UFC could provide a massive return for anyone brave enough to back him this weekend.

Diaz is on a two-fight losing skid with losses to Leon Edwards last year and Jorge Masvidal in 2019. Chimaev, on the other hand, is a rising star with an undefeated record after 11 fights and five of those being in the UFC. Chimaev hasn’t just cruised to victory in the UFC, either, he’s dominated opponents with several rapid knockouts and submissions along the way.

Read more: UFC fighters pick Diaz vs. Chimaev winner

Nate Diaz tops list of UFC 279's biggest underdogs 2

Chris Barnett (+260) vs. Jake Collier (-360)

Chris Barnett is another fighter who has grown accustomed to being the underdog in the UFC. Since joining the promotion in 2021, Barnett has been the underdog in all four of his bouts, including this weekend’s matchup with Jake Collier. Barnett has won one of his three bouts in the UFC, with a win coming against Gian Villante despite being an +112 underdog. He’ll step into this fight after a technical decision loss to Martin Buday in April.

Danyelle Wolf (+250) vs. Norma Dumont (-350)

Unsurprisingly, Danyelle Wolf is an underdog in her first UFC bout this weekend at UFC 279. Wolf first featured on Dana White’s Contender Series in September 2020, where she made her professional mixed martial arts debut at featherweight. With a background in boxing, Wolf will be looking to let her hands go on Saturday night, but it’s likely that Norma Dumont will want to turn this into a proper mixed martial arts bout and test the other areas of Wolf’s game.

Read more: Wolf vs. Dumont fight prediction and breakdown

Nate Diaz tops list of UFC 279's biggest underdogs 2

Tony Ferguson (+210) vs. Li Jingliang (-280)

It’s all been downhill for Tony Ferguson since his mighty 12-fight win streak was broken in 2020 by Justin Gaethje. It’s a sea of losses for Ferguson, who has now lost each of his last four fights, albeit against stiff competition in Michael Chandler, Beneil Dariush, current champion Charles Oliveira, and Gaethje. Of most concern, Ferguson has taken loads of damage in these fights and is now moving up to welterweight for the first time since appearing on The Ultimate Fighter back in 2011.

Ferguson will be up against Li Jingliang at UFC 279, a fighter who has been mostly inconsistent in his appearances during recent years. At times, Jingliang has looked impressive, with spectacular knockout wins, such as those against Santiago Ponzinibbio, Muslim Salikhov, Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, and more. And then, when matched with tough competition, such as Khamzat Chimaev and Neil Magny, Jingliang appears outclassed. Regardless, one thing’s for sure at UFC 279, and it’s that Ferguson’s chin is going to be tested.

UFC 279 Odds

Saturday, Sept. 10 – T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas

Main Card – 10:00 pm ET / 7:00 pm PT only on ESPN+ PPV (order here)

  • Khamzat Chimaev (-1600) vs. Nate Diaz (+850)
  • Li Jingliang (-280) vs. Tony Ferguson (+210)
  • Kevin Holland (-210) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (+165)
  • Irene Aldana (-220) vs. Macy Chiasson (+175)
  • Johnny Walker (+150) vs. Ion Cutelaba (-180)

Prelims – 8:00 pm ET / 5:00 pm PT on ESPN+

  • Hakeem Dawodu (-230) vs. Julian Erosa (+180)
  • Denis Tiuliulin (+110) vs. Jamie Pickett (-140)
  • Jake Collier (-360) vs. Chris Barnett (+260)

Early Prelims– 6:30 pm ET / 3:30 pm PT on ESPN+

  • Norma Dumont (-350) vs. Danyelle Wolf (+250)
  • Chad Anheliger (+140) vs. Alateng Heili (-170)
  • Melissa Martinez (-155) vs. Elise Reed (+125)
  • Darian Weeks (-140) vs. Yohan Lainesse (+110)

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