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UFC 279 Quick Picks and Complete Betting Guide

by | Sep 5, 2022 | Fight Preview

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UFC 279 is on deck and I daresay there appears to be some great spots that we can exploit from a betting standpoint. A Lot of people will complain because there are no title bouts on this PPV offering and because it features a lot of lesser known debuting fighters.  However the main event features the farewell retirement of MMA royalty Nate Diaz and the highly touted prospect turned contender Khamzat Chimaev which is undeniably must see TV in my humble opinion. Add to that a main card that features some of the roster’s top talent and we have ourselves what is shaping up to be another excellent offering from the world’s premier mma promotion. 

As for my UFC Paris predictions, I went 7-2 which is a very respectable showing but due to very poor parlay and line up construction I lost $440 on all of my betting/DFS action which is very frustrating to say the least. However, win, lose or draw I never dwell on what is passed. I prefer to move on and look ahead to the more favorable results that will undoubtedly come with perseverance and dedication. With that in mind we forge on and we move forward. These are my picks for UFC 279.

DARIAN WEEKS-130 (5-1) VS YOHAN LAINESSE +110(8-1):

I’m going to be on the  LAINESSE ML in this spot. I bet him as an underdog in his debut verses Gabriel Green and it was looking good in the early going but LAINESSE’s cardio seem to fall off a cliff in the 2nd round which lead to him getting KO’D. I’m going to chalk that one up as a UFC debut adrenaline dump that was precipitated by a punishing body shot. I could be asking for trouble by taking another plus money dog shot on LAINESSE but I feel like he is the superior fighter in this matchup. He also has way more finishing upside in my opinion. He packs big power and I expect he will be the stronger man verses WEEKS. However I do think this will be a hard fight for LAINESSE because WEEKS has good cardio and takedown ability as well as decent volume. He has shown himself to be a game opponent who has gone the distance in both of his UFC appearances against two high level opponents in Ian Garry & Bryan Barberena. HOWEVER he lost those fights and I suspect it’s because he was at a skill disadvantage. I’m hoping that will be the case once again when he faces LAINESSE who has been undervalued throughout his career. Gimme the underdog in the curtain jerker and let’s hope he cashes this time.

MELISSA MARTINEZ-150(7-0) VS ELISE REED+130 (5-2):

I’m all over the debuting MARTINEZ in this spot. I watched quite a bit of tape on her and she looked rather impressive against fighters with commensurate or superior talent to that of REED’S. She has nasty finishing skills and she looked very composed when she faced an onslaught of adversity in her Combate America title fight. REED brings a decent striking arsenal to this matchup but her ground game is somewhat limited and I don’t think she is durable enough to withstand what “super mely” MARTINEZ will be serving up. Of course this is MARTINEZ’S UFC debut so we have to be mindful of that but based what I’ve seen out of these two ladies I think this is MARTINEZ all day. I will be playing her ML and I might sprinkle her to win by KO.

CHAD ANHELIGER +150(12-5) VS ALETANGHEILI -175(15-8-2):

To my mind this should be lined closer to a pure pick ’em. These are two skilled prospects that are capable of beating one another on any given Saturday night. I feel like this line is a little wide given where these two are at in their respective careers. ALETANGHEILI will likely have the size advantage here. He also has the edge in strength of schedule and experience but ANHELIGER is a dog. I’m pretty sure he will be able able to match ALETANGHEILI’s pace and output. I particularly like ANHELIGER’S get up game which could pay dividends the deeper this fight goes. At very least I expect this one to go the distance so FGTD is likely a good look here. I’m going to take the plus money dog shot on the dog in ANHELIGER and trust that he will be able to win minutes. It’s not a confident play by any means but at plus money I feel like it’s worth a shot. 

NORMA DUMONT-325(7-0) VS DANYELLE WOLF+270(1-0):

I’m a little conflicted about this match up. I don’t think there is any question that WOLF is the superior striker given her U.S. national boxing team pedigree but this is MMA and DUMONT has very good striking abilities of her own as well as some grappling upside that she will be able to lean on. However WOLF was able to survive the grappling transitions in her DWCS appearance and I have to believe that she has continued to make improvements in her overall MMA game since then. This will be a massive step up in competition for WOLF but I don’t know that she will be completely outclassed here. I’m hoping that she will take the fight to DUMONT and dictate the pace. I’m probably going to regret this after the fact but I’m going to take the plus money dog shot on the Olympic caliber boxer in WOLF. I’ve never backed a 1-0 fighter before, especially one that’s making her UFC debut but my gut tells me that WOLF gets it done by decision here. I’m going to play her Money Line and I might get real brave and take a stab at her to win by decision. I just think her boxing skills will win the day against DUMONT who will likely oblige her in a stand up affair. I also think(or hope) that WOLF’S takedown defense will probably hold up if DUMONT decides to grapple.  This is a very bold play that carries a lot of risk so I don’t advise tailing me on this one unless you are prepared to feel a little foolish if it goes south but the greater the risk the greater the reward and I’m hoping that WOLF will be a 2-0 fighter after Saturday night. 

JAKE COLLIER-345(13-7) VS CHRIS BARNETT+285(22-8): 

I have to go with COLLIER in this match up. He has the more well rounded skill set in my opinion and I expect him to outpoint BARNETT for the duration of this bout.  COLLIER could find a finish here but if I had to guess I’d say a decision is far more likely. BARNETT is deceptively agile for his size and he throws powerful, flashy techniques that will be very problematic for COLLIER if they land but I think COLLIER (who is also deceptively agile for his size) will be able to remain defensively sound. BARNETT fights are always entertaining affairs and I don’t expect that this one will be any different but in my opinion COLLIER is the better all around fighter in this matchup. I will likely parlay him with another favorite.

DENIS TIULIULIN+115(10-6)VS JAMIE PICKETT-135(13-7):

When this fight was originally scheduled a few months ago I was going to be on TIULIULIN but after seeing his UFC debut verses KHIZRIEV I don’t have a lot of confidence in his ability. That said PICKETT does not exactly inspire a lot of confidence either so I’m really not sure what to do with this fight. As such I’m just going to pass altogether on this one but in terms of a pick I have to go with the experience of PICKETT. However if I was going to bet this fight I’d probably go with the plus money on TIULIULIN because I think this will be a close fight. This is the sleeper fight on the card in my opinion. These guys are evenly matched which should make for an interesting contest but there is just too much volatility here for me to actually bet a side.

JAILTON ALMEIDA-900 (16-2) VS ANTON TURKALJ+550(8-0):

The undefeated TURKALJ dealt with a lot more resistance than I expected in his DWCS bout and I was relieved to get the win that night. However he’s going to need to do a whole lot better if he expects to win versus ALMEIDA in his UFC debut and quite frankly I’m just not seeing it. ALMEIDA is a very dangerous prospect with big power and a nasty ground game. I think he will have TURKALJ covered wherever this fight plays out. Big props to TURKALJ for taking a short notice fight against a guy that nobody wants to fight but I think he has probably bitten off more than he can chew here. That said, the fact that his confidence is this high gives me some hope that he might pull off the upset so I’m not prepared to count him out just yet but I’m not prepared to back him with my money either. My pick is ALMEIDA but this will likely be a hard pass for me. 

HAKEEM DOWADU-225(13-2-1)VS JULIAN EROSA+190 (27-10):

I’m going to pick DOWADU for the win here but I’m not sure I will actually place a bet on him. EROSA has stung me on more than one occasion so when it comes to betting on or against him I’m always hesitant.  Especially when I factor in that DOWADU is a decision machine which means that EROSA will likely have a full fifteen minutes to find an opening for a counter or a submission. DOWADU is a very technical kickboxer but he has been submitted before which means EROSA is live for the upset in my opinion. Do not let EROSA’s 27-10 record fool you. He is a well rounded, gritty fighter that has a knack for pulling off the upset. Ultimately though my PICK is DOWADU and I expect he will probably win by Decision. 

JOHNNY WALKER+155(18-7)VS ION CUTELABA -180(16-7-1):

When WALKER began his UFC campaign I thought for sure he was going to be a problem for the LHW division. He was insanely explosive and he wasn’t afraid to go for the finish with crazy techniques that often left me awestruck. Unfortunately he has shown himself to be somewhat of a busted prospect at this point. He is hesitant and he seems unsure of himself in situations where he would have thrived only a couple of years ago. The last knock out he suffered at the hands of Jamahal Hill was particularly nasty which has me questioning the state of his chin. CUTELABA is the LHW division’s resident mad man. He has big power and he’s an outstanding wrestler but I question his fight IQ at times. At a certain point crazy becomes a counter productive hindrance. Both of these fighters have a significant amount of crazy in them so I’m not sure who will prevail in this spot. If we’re talking WALKER from a couple of years ago I would think he runs through CUTELABA but anything less than a full commitment to finishing CUTELABA is problematic in the long term because he is an animal in there and he is always looking to end the fight in violent fashion. Based on recency bias I have to pick CUTELABA for the win but I can’t bet him for fear that Johnny Walker of old shows up and sleeps him the way he used to do to his opponents. If anything I’d say WALKER makes a very viable underdog here but I can’t bet on “if come”. My pick is CUTELABA but unfortunately I have to pass altogether on this one. 

IRENE ALDANA-200(13-6) VS MACY CHIASSON+170 (9-2):

I’m going to pick ALDANA here. She is the superior striker in my opinion and I think she will have a slight cardio advantage as this fight goes into the later rounds. I’m not going to bet on this fight however because CHIASSON will likely be the stronger fighter in the clinch and she will likely have the advantage on the ground. An upset is very much on the table here if she finds a way to impose her will the way she did in her last outing against Norma Dumont. I am actually tempted to take the plus money dog shot on CHIASSON in this spot but ultimately I’m not prepared to risk betting against ALDANA so this will be another pass for me. 

KEVIN HOLLAND-210 (23-7) VS DANIEL RODRIGUEZ +180(16-2):

I’m going to be on RODRIGUEZ in this match up even though HOLLAND has looked fantastic since his move down to welterweight. Holland will be the bigger fighter here and he will probably have a significant advantage on the ground but I believe RODRIGUEZ will possess the advantage as long as this fight stays on the feet and at plus money I can’t pass up the opportunity to back him. Both of these fighters are extremely talented in my opinion so I will be proceeding with caution here but I will be playing the RODRIGUEZ ML and hope his striking wins the day. 

LI JINGLIANG-265 (19-7) VS TONY FERGUSON+225 (26-7):

EL CUCUY Ferguson is one of my favorite fighters of all time so it’s difficult for me to fade him but he has shown a very clear decline since he took a hellacious beating from Dustin GATHJIE 3 fights ago. I thought he was looking  sharp in his last outing vs Michael CHANDLER until he wound up on the wrong end of a viral front kick KO that stopped him in his tracks. At this point I have to question whether or not he still has that legendary durability, especially since he’s facing a big power puncher in JINGLIANG.  Add to that the fact that this fight is being contested at 170lbs and I feel like I have no choice but to pick JINGLIANG for the win. It occurred to me that FERGUSON could employ a grappling heavy approach here, which would be a smart move in my opinion but as I’ve already said I can’t bet on “if comes” and while I am not a big believer in narratives, I do think the aging FERGUSON will likely be outgunned here. MMA is a cruel mistress at times (for the athletes as well the fans/bettors) and father time is undefeated as the saying goes. We’ve seen quite a few legends learn that lesson the hard way of late and I’m thinking “EL Cucuy” Ferguson will soon join that list of fallen MMA heroes from a bygone era. I have to go with the power and momentum of JINGLIANG here, especially at welterweight. I will look to use him in a 2 fighter parlay and I will likely sprinkle him to win by KO/TKO. 

KHAMZAT CHIMAEV-1150(11-0) VS NATE DIAZ+750(21-13):

These odds tell a very clear tale here in my humble opinion. I’m a hardcore MMA FANATIC so it goes without saying that I absolutely love what Nate Diaz brings to the table but once again we are talking about an aging legend who has been through multiple Octagon wars throughout his storied career. I believe this is Diaz’s retirement fight which has me wondering why the hell it is against a surging super prospect who has become a high profile contender. As far as I’m concerned CHIMAEV is an absolute monster that can do it all, he should be fighting guys that are in the top 5 rather than retiring legends. However I thought the same thing when Diaz fought Leon EDWARDS and Diaz had EDWARDS on Bambi legs at the end of their 5 round affair, what’s more, this was after Leon had thoroughly pieced him up for over 23 minutes. My biggest concern here is that CHIMAEV is looking past Diaz because that is never a good look. In fact it usually ends badly for the fighter who doesn’t take his opponent seriously and Nate Diaz is not a guy who should be overlooked regardless of circumstance. That said I don’t see this fight going the distance so perhaps I am looking past Diaz a little if I’m being honest but I’m not the one who will be in the Octagon with him on fight night. If Nate Diaz somehow manages to bounce CHIMAEV from the ranks of the undefeated I will be completely shocked and flabbergasted but this is MMA at the highest level so it is not completely out of the realm of possibility. It’s just highly improbable. My pick is CHIMAEV and I might play him to win by KO or ITD depending on the odds. 

This is a rare non title PPV main event and quite frankly I don’t think it will last very long but I’ve learned to expect the unexpected when it comes to the fight game so perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised come fight night. Either way I believe this will be another outstanding night of fights because the UFC is virtually incapable of putting on boring events. Hopefully my reads are accurate but more importantly I hope to cash my bets and get back in the win column. 

As always, fade me or follow me at your own peril and above all enjoy the gift that is mixed martial arts at the highest level. 

Frank Jodouin

Contributing Analyst

I started betting on fights in 2016, and have watched every single fight on every live event for almost seven years running. To put it plainly, I am a fight junkie, and Dana White is my dealer. I write content because I'm so passionate about this sport and I am honored to be a member of the We Want Picks team. I love to talk fights and share the knowledge I have accrued over the years as I continue to learn about the greatest the sport on planet earth.

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