UFC 279 Predictions

@ufc on Twitter

UFC 279 Predictions


UFC 279 Predictions


@ufc on Twitter 

UFC 279 takes place Saturday, September 10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas! Fan favorites Nate Diaz and Tony Ferguson will go toe-to-toe in the main event and what promises to be a war for however long it lasts. Another fan favorite, Khamzat Chimaev will look to continue his winning streak in the co-main event against a new rival in Kevin Holland.

Fight One: Darian Weeks (5-2) (-135) vs Yohan Lainesse (8-1) (+110) 

Winner: Yohan Lainesse by KO/TKO 

To start off UFC 279 Welterweights Darian Weeks and Yohan Lainesse look to bounce back from losses in each of their last outings. Weeks comes into this fight 0-2 in the UFC with losses to two up-and-comers in the division in Bryan Barberena and Ian Machado Garry. He is looking to prove he belongs in the UFC with a statement win over Yohan Lainesse. Lainesse is also looking for his first win in the UFC after losing his first outing to Gabe Green only slightly more than four months ago. When I look at this fight I could see it going two different ways, either Weeks mixes in his wrestling game effectively and keeps Lainesse on his back for most of the fight and wins by decision. Or Lainesse is able to use his length and power advantage to finish the fight by knockout. Out of those two options, I am more confident in taking the slight underdog in Lainesse to win this fight. I see round one being a bit of a feeling-out process where Weeks tries to get the fight to the ground or against the fence while Lainesse looks to counter his attacks with strikes of his own. In round two I think Lainese will use his four-inch reach advantage to keep Weeks on the perimeter before landing a powerful hook that drops Weeks as he tries to close the distance, and finishes the fight via TKO. 

Fight Two: Elise Reed (+135) vs Melissa Martinez (7-0) (-165)

Winner: Melissa Martinez by KO/TKO

In the second fight of the night, three-fight UFC veteran Elise Reed takes on undefeated UFC debutant Melissa Martinez and is looking to be the first loss on her record. Since entering the UFC, Reed sits at 1-2 with her only win coming by way of split decision over the very young Cory McKenna. It is safe to say she could use a win here. Martinez comes into this fight with all the momentum as she has won all of her seven professional MMA fights with three of her last five coming by way of a TKO finish. What concerns me about her is that she has yet to fight in almost three years. I expect that this fight will be almost entirely on the feet because as we’ve seen in the past, especially in her loss to Sam Hughes, Reed is prone to being taken down and Martinez does her best work on the feet. This was a pretty clear choice for me as I give Martinez the striking advantage in this fight as she has been able to finish several opponents using a combination of punches and kicks. Which is how I think she’ll win this fight. Martinez should be able to overwhelm Reed with her volume of strikes and hit her with a power shot that has put her previous opponents away, allowing her to win her UFC debut.


Fight Three: Chad Anheliger (12-5) (+140) vs Heili Alateng (15-8-2) (-165) 

Winner: Chad Anheliger by KO/TKO

Next up on the card is a matchup between up-and-coming Bantamweight Chad Anheliger and UFC veteran Heili Alateng. Anheliger is riding a 10-fight win streak stretching back to March of 2016 and looks to keep extending it after a TKO win over Jesse Strader in his debut. Alateng is also coming into this fight with some momentum as he was able to finish Kevin Croom in his last fight and is 3-1-1 in his last five appearances. This is definitely an interesting fight and another that I think will take place mostly on the feet. We are going to see two different approaches to this fight as Anheliger is going to wait to find his openings to land the fight-ending blow. Alateng is going to push the pace and be the more active fighter. I ultimately have decided to go with Anheliger in this fight because of how precise of a counter striker we have seen him be and Alateng’s struggle with his defense. Alateng absorbs over five significant strikes per minute, which is okay when going against someone who lacks power like Croom, but against this caliber of a striker in Anheliger it won’t work out in his favor. Anheliger will wait for Alateng to pressure him and drop his hands and land a counter punch that ends the fight and extends his winning streak. 

Fight Four: Norma Dumont (7-2) (-325) vs Danyelle Wolf (1-0) (+260)

Winner: Norma Dumont by Decision 

In the second Women’s fight of the night, this is a rare Women’s Featherweight matchup between a possible opponent for Amanda Nunes in Norma Dumont and newcomer Danyelle Wolf. Dumont looks to rebound from her split decision loss to Macy Chiasson with a statement win over a UFC newcomer. For Wolf, she has earned the opportunity all MMA fighters dream of after only one professional fight so she is looking to capitalize on it. Unfortunately for Wolf, I think she stands little chance against Dumont. Wolf has good hands and with her reach, she may even have the boxing advantage over Dumont, but her lack of MMA experience tells me she will be unable to stop Dumont from taking this fight to the ground. Which is exactly what I think Dumont’s game plan will be. Dumont will throw some faints and leg kicks early in each round before changing levels and taking Wolf to the ground where she will grind out a decision victory. 


Fight Five: Jake Collier (13-7) (-350) vs Chris Barnett (22-8) (+285) 

Winner: Chris Barnett by KO/TKO

In a Heavyweight clash, UFC veteran Jake Collier looks to possibly end the career of the eccentric Chris Barnett. Collier comes into this fight with losses in three of his last five fights, his most recent coming by way of split decision to Andrei Arlovski, and is looking to avoid another. Barnett is 1-2 since entering the UFC with his sole win being a wheel kick knockout over Gian Villante, and in his most recent fight, Barnett lost to Martin Buday. This is definitely the most controversial pick I have on this card and one of the most I have had in a while, but I am going with Chris Barnett to win this fight. We have seen in the past that when Collier is hit with a powerful strike he seems to collapse quickly and doesn’t put up much of a fight. We know that Barnett is not afraid to throw down with any of his opponents. Now there is definitely a way Collier can win this fight as he has the grappling advantage, and can hold Barnett against the fence and grind out a decision. But, I feel like Barnett is going to land a crowd-pleasing knockout blow and extend his run in the UFC.


Fight Six: Jamie Pickett (13-7) (-135) vs Denis Tiuliulin (10-6) (+115)

Winner: Jamie Pickett by Decision

In the Middleweight division veteran Jamie Pickett takes on Denis Tiuliulin to try and climb closer toward the rankings. Pickett has only won two of his last five fights with his last being a submission loss to Kyle Daukaus, so he is hoping he can get back on track with a win this Saturday. Tiuliulin made his UFC debut slightly over five months ago but unfortunately suffered a loss to Aliaskhab Khizriev by way of submission so he is looking to prove he belongs in the UFC. This is definitely going to be a tough fight but I am going to give the edge to Pickett. I see this fight being primarily a striking affair where Pickett will try to use his size and length to land distance strikes and avoid the power of Tiuliulin. As long as Pickett doesn’t get tagged early on into the fight he should be able to score more points using his tactical striking and reach advantage and get back to winning ways with a decision win. 


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