UFC 279 Recap

UFC 279 was quite the debacle for Dana White and the company. With a fight week that involved everything from brawls backstage to missed weights, it ended up being just as good as it could have possibly been on Saturday night when it went down.

A UFC 279 recap couldn’t even start to explain the craziness of fight week to someone that wasn’t following along.

The Press Conference

On Thursday night at MGM Arena, the UFC 279 press conference was supposed to take place with the final three fights on the main card sitting together on stage and answering questions from the media.  Just before it was supposed to commence, words of a brawl happening backstage started to surface.

Although this is a common theme when “Nick Diaz Army” is in the building together for Nate Diaz fights, this ended up being started by a whole different group.

Khamzat Chimaev traveled heavily with a group of supporters and teammates that got into it with UFC welterweight Kevin Holland.

Holland and Chimaev exchanged words, and then the rest of the Chimaev team got involved, surrounding Holland.

Manager at Backstage

A manager backstage took it upon himself to break it up, and he seemed to do a good job of that, especially with the lack of security that was back there. But when NDA came into the building to support Diaz, they had other ideas.

Rumors have said that they did not like seeing the manager, that had a good relationship with them in the past standing and being friendly with the Chimaev posse, so they did what they do best… throw water bottles. Long story short, this ended with the press conference being canceled.

Missing Weight

To add to the unpleasant Thursday night, one-half of the scheduled main event missed weight by over 7lbs. It came out later that Chimaev was ill while undergoing the weight cut, and a doctor advised him to stop the process.

This brought the MMA world and the UFC brass to a frenzy, trying to save this event. A weight miss like this is very uncommon for an event and a fight of this magnitude, so the fans and other fighters were confused and wondering what would happen.

Restructuring of the Card

After all this debacle, the MMA gods seemed to have their say in what the fans wanted to see the most on Saturday night.

The top three fights were restructured to give us: Li Jingliang vs. Daniel Rodriguez at catchweight, Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kevin Holland at catchweight, and the main event with two UFC legends, Nate Diaz and Tony Ferguson at welterweight, for 5 rounds.

These matchups seemed to be the ones that should have been made originally because they seemed meant to be. Holland and Chimaev with their newly started beef backstage, and two legends that fans have wanted to see the fight for years now.

UFC 279 Recap

In one of the oddest events to ever be on the UFC schedule, we had a lot of unprecedented betting results to go along with it.

Underdogs Dominate the Prelims

In the prelims of UFC 279, five underdogs came out victorious. UFC odds and sportsbooks were taking big losses from people who like to bet, plus money on fights. 

Chris Barnett cashed as the biggest underdog in the heavyweight division in over three years at +350. After missing weight and a tough last few months, he made up for it with a spectacular comeback performance with a KO finish.

The other underdogs that cashed on the preliminary card include: Julian Rosa at +175, Elise Reed at +145, Yohan Lainesse at +110, and Dennis Tiuliulin at +105. 

Main Card

For a UFC 279 recap, we have to mention the bad beat for bettors that made a play for Li Jingliang with his new underdog title when he stepped up to fight Rodriguez. In a lot of viewers’ eyes he won that fight. There were definitely a lot of bettors yelling at the judges through the TV on that night.

Chimaev made pretty easy work of Holland as expected; with barely any value in that pick, it was a tough one to bet on. UFC odds had Chimaev as the -600 favorite in that bout, and he showed why that was the case. 

In the main event that we should have seen in one of the UFC past events, Nate Diaz looked very good against Ferguson. His boxing was slick; he took control of the octagon and dealt with Ferguson’s awkward movement very well. Through three rounds, it was clear that Diaz was in full control of the fight.

With yet another underdog win on the night, Nate Diaz finished Tony Ferguson in the 4th round via guillotine choke in classic Diaz fashion.

Also, to put the cherry on top of a historic UFC career, he finished him at the 2:09 mark of the round, a nod to the phrase “209” that the Diaz Army keeps close with them to pay homage to their hometown of Stockton.

As a final word for the UFC 279 recap, Nate Diaz went out on his own terms and with a fight that let him leave as a winner instead of an unfair matchup against a dominant Khamzat Chimaev.

The MMA community and bettors around the world were happy to see that legendary fight take place, with both guys getting the spotlight they deserve in the twilight of their careers.

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