UFC 279 got a major facelift on Friday. The final three fights on the card, scheduled to go down inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, all shuffled around after main eventer Khamzat Chimaev missed weight by 7.5 pounds for his bout against Nate Diaz.
Instead, Diaz will headline the card opposite fellow lightweight veteran Tony Ferguson. Chimaev, meanwhile, will now take on Kevin Holland. And the two men Ferguson and Holland were supposed to face -- Li Jingliang and Daniel Rodriguez -- will now also square off in a featured bout.
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"It's not by coincidence that we stack guys in the same weight on the same card in case something goes wrong. It worked out," UFC president Dana White said after the announcement of the reshuffled card. "Getting these guys to agree to different fights can be a little tough sometimes. We got it all done. We're locked in."
The undercard rounds out with another catchweight bout, this one on the women's side when Irene Aldana and Macy Chiasson meet at 140 pounds. The bout was originally scheduled to take place at the bantamweight limit of 135 pounds, but Chiasson's team asked for the extra allowance before weigh ins. And opening the festivities is a light heavyweight showdown between flashy strikers Ion Cutelaba and Johnny Walker.
It's set up to be an interesting main event on top of a card loaded with intriguing fights from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night, making it the kind of event that can draw plenty of interest from bettors. Luckily for those looking to put a bit of money on the fights, Caesars Sportsbook has you covered for nearly every angle of UFC 279 to get in on the action. We're going to give you a few options to consider with this card from our favorite moneyline play, prop play and parlay play. Let's take a closer look at those picks now.
Best moneyline pick
Hakeem Dawodu (-220) vs. Julian Erosa
Dawodu hasn't been a great finisher in the UFC, with only one stoppage win in the promotion. He is, however, a sharp and effective striker who has the technique to work over Erosa in this fight. If there's one big red flag for Erosa, it's his defense. As aggressive and often effective as he can be, Erosa tends to get hit just as much as he hits with a career 6.29 strikes landed per minute vs. 6.51 absorbed. Against someone who strings strikes together as effectively as Dawodu, that's going to make for a long night for Erosa. This should be a fairly simple win for Dawodu if he can avoid getting stung too badly and -220 is a solid price.
Best prop pick
Jake Collier vs. Chris Barnett under 2.5 rounds (-115)
While it's possible this fight plays out with Collier grinding Barnett down to the decision, his range and cardio likely allow him to do whatever he wants while Barnett increasingly gasses out and becomes more and more open to a finish. On the flip side, Barnett isn't winning this fight by decision and will need to go for the finish through dramatic means. Just under 50% of Collier's UFC fights have gone under 2.5 rounds while Barnett has seen all three of his UFC fights finish short of the mark. There's good value in the under here.
Best parlay pick
Norma Dumont vs. Danyelle Wolf over 2.5 rounds (-250)
Irene Aldana vs. Macy Chiasson over 2.5 rounds (-210)
Alatengheili (-165) vs. Chad Anheliger
Parlay total (+232)
Of the four women in this parlay, Aldana is the best finisher. Unfortunately, she's facing Chiasson in a clash that doesn't seem promising for a finish to materialize. Dumont isn't much of a finisher and while Wolf comes from a good boxing background, she looked less than impressive on Dana White's Contender Series. In Alatengheili, you have a fighter with a very good chin, heavy power in his punches and the ability to change the landscape of a fight with takedowns. Anheliger has good striking but less ability to make adjustments in the course of a fight.