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Khamzat Chimaev of Russia reacts after his three round battle against Gilbert Burns of Brazil in their welterweight fight during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
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Significant Stats | UFC 279

Use Significant Stats To Preview Some Of The Top Match-Ups On UFC 279: Diaz vs Ferguson

Editor Note: This article was published prior to the UFC 279: Diaz vs Ferguson event change. Nate Diaz will now fight Tony Ferguson in the main event, Khamzat Chimaev will fight Kevin Holland in a catchweight (180) co-main event and Li Jingliang will fight Daniel Rodriguez in a catchweight (180) bout. | Order UFC 279: Diaz vs Ferguson

UFC Announces Updates To UFC 279

(All stats according to UFC’s Record Book  and Fight Metric as of September 7, 2022, and only include active athletes in their respective division unless noted otherwise)

Main Event: Khamzat Chimaev vs Nate Diaz

Khamzat Chimaev

Khamzat Chimaev of Russia reacts after his three round battle against Gilbert Burns of Brazil in their welterweight fight during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Khamzat Chimaev of Russia reacts after his three round battle against Gilbert Burns of Brazil in their welterweight fight during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Key Stats: 7.89 strikes landed per minute (2nd all-time), +3.59 striking differential (5th all-time), 3.23 takedowns per 15 minutes

RELATED: Khamzat Chimaev Not Here To Be A Normal Fighter

What It Means: Chimaev is an absolute beast of a fighter. His aggression is a bit striking at first, whether he’s throwing hands or diving in for a takedown. “Borz” goes all-out and seems to have the gas tank to do it so far. On the feet, he has fundamental striking but kind of freaky power that doesn’t necessarily require him to wind up much. However, he’s a real standout when it comes to grappling. With a great freestyle wrestling base, Chimaev hustles and explodes to every position and has the strength to more or less ragdoll opponents. When he is on top, he is vicious with ground-and-pound and seems to portray a particular enjoyment in letting his hands go with malicious intent.

Nate Diaz

Nate Diaz reacts to his victory over Conor McGregor of Ireland in their welterweight bout during the UFC 196 event inside MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5 2016 in Las Vegas Nevada

Nate Diaz reacts to his victory over Conor McGregor of Ireland in their welterweight bout during the UFC 196 event inside MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)


Key Stats: 9 submission wins (tied 4th all-time), 15 total fight night bonuses (tied 3rd all-time), 15:07 average fight time (8th longest all-time among WW)

RELATED: Forever Nate Diaz | Diaz Fight Week Interview

What It Means: Diaz is a fighter’s fighter who is as comfortable in brawls and technical affairs as anyone on the roster. He stands heavy on his lead leg from a southpaw stance and possesses smooth boxing and counterstriking utilizing long jabs and combinations. On the ground, he has as tricky a guard as anyone, with great dexterity in his limbs to pull off a multitude of submissions. Diaz’s gas tank never really fades, and he will happily stay in his opponent’s face for the entire duration of the fight while talking trash.

Order UFC 279: Diaz vs Ferguson | Get Your Tickets Here

What to Look For in the Fight: Despite Gilbert Burns’ best efforts, nobody has stopped the juggernaut that is Chimaev in the Octagon. In terms of a skill-for-skill matchup, Diaz presents a tricky challenge given his jiu jitsu if Chimaev dives in recklessly, but “Borz” did navigate Burns’ guard well enough. Because Diaz is so heavy on his lead leg, it’s there for Chimaev’s taking, but Diaz is notoriously hard to put away, so if Chiamev starts to fade at all in the third, fourth or fifth rounds, he’ll find himself in worlds of pressure for the first time.

Co-Main Event: Li Jingliang vs Tony Ferguson

Li Jingliang

Li Jingliang of China reacts after his knockout victory over Santiago Ponzinibbio of Argentina in a welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 17 2021 in Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates

Li Jingliang of China reacts after his knockout victory over Santiago Ponzinibbio of Argentina in a welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 17, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Key Stats: 8 KO/TKO wins (tied 2nd all-time among WW), 10 knockdowns landed (tied 3rd all-time among WW), 1.27 takedowns per 15 minutes

View Jingliang's Athlete Profile

What It Means: “The Leech” is a well-rounded, all-action type of fighter who brings a great spirit and pace to a contest. He’s sharp on the feet with good power in both hands, and his attack is almost always well-balanced. Li can mix things up and secure a takedown or two to keep opponents honest, and he’s not opposed to grinding away some time controlling his foe along the fence. On the feet, he has quick kicks which he blasts to the body and legs, and he'll string together a couple punches before sitting down on a knockout shot.

Tony Ferguson

Tony Ferguson | Top 5 Moments
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Tony Ferguson | Top 5 Moments
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Key Stats: 5.11 strikes landed per minute (9th among LW), 11 total fight night bonuses (tied 8th all-time), 10 finishes (4th among LW)

What It Means: Few fighters make a bout hell for their opponents the way Ferguson can at his best. He is almost always in his opponent’s face, throwing punches, front kicks, elbows, knees and anything else his mind can come up with to swarm his opponent. He has a tricky submission game highlighted by his D’arce choke, and he’s also someone who will try to pull an Imanari roll from time to time.  

RELATED: See What Ferguson Had To Say Just Days Ahead Of UFC 279

What to Look For in the Fight: This has every making of a back-and-forth mixed martial arts contest. On the feet, Li probably has the power advantage, but in Ferguson’s first welterweight bout since winning The Ultimate Fighter 11 years ago, there’s a few different question marks. Ferguson will fight with the same pace and pressure no matter what, so how “The Leech” earns respect from Ferguson and gets his back off the cage is crucial. Perhaps he’ll need to shoot a couple takedowns to relieve the pressure or land a heavy shot early to get Ferguson off him for a moment. Ferguson is good about using teep kicks to the body and spinning attacks to swarm his opponent, so how Li counters over that is something to watch.

Other Fights to Watch (Kevin Holland vs Daniel Rodriguez, Irene Aldana vs Macy Chiasson)

Kevin Holland

Kevin Holland exits the cage after defeating Tim Means in their welterweight fight at the UFC Fight Night event at Moody Center on June 18, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Kevin Holland exits the cage after defeating Tim Means in their welterweight fight at the UFC Fight Night event at Moody Center on June 18, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)


Key Stats: 3.9 strikes landed per minute, 2.41 strikes absorbed per minute, 55% striking defense

View Holland's Athlete Profile

What It Means: Holland is a long, lanky striker who tends to thrive in methodical, technical striking affairs. When he is on his game, he makes strong use of his reach and long legs with straight punches and low kicks. At welterweight, his frame is even more menacing, and he still carries the power he showed in various contests at 185. He does a decent job of keeping his distance and maintaining safety when he’s not engaging in the pocket.

Daniel Rodriguez

Daniel Rodriguez Fight Week Interview | UFC 279: Diaz vs Ferguson
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Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

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Daniel Rodriguez Fight Week Interview | UFC 279: Diaz vs Ferguson
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Key Stats: 8.24 strikes landed per minute (1st all-time), +3.05 striking differential (1st all-time among WW), 55% takedown accuracy

What It Means: Rodriguez is a super-sharp striker with particularly good boxing, and once he finds his range, he likes to pour it on with the pressure and volume. He doesn’t go wild, but he keeps a steady stream of strikes coming to his opponent once he gets them backed up against the fence. He has a quick jab, and he is good about countering shots, as well. He can secure a takedown or two to mix things up, but most of his work is done with his hands.

RELATED: Fighters On The Rise

What to Look For in the Fight: Between the two, Rodriguez is more of the pressure-forward fighter while Holland likes to maintain distance when he can. That said, Holland is better about imposing his frame and length at 170, and he can become a puzzle of limbs to navigate for smaller opponents. Footwork is key in this matchup, and although both men identify as strikers, they’ll be hard pressed to get each other out of their game early, as neither has suffered a professional knockout. Both have submissions to their name, but this could be a high-paced striking battle for as long as they want it to be.

Irene Aldana

Irene Aldana comemora sua vitória no UFC 264. (Foto por Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Irene Aldana comemora sua vitória no UFC 264. (Foto por Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Key Stats: 5.61 strikes landed per minute (4th all-time among WBW), 61% significant strike defense (4th all-time among WBW), 84.4% takedown defense (3rd all-time among WBW)

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What It Means: Aldana is a powerful, smooth striker who leans toward a boxing base. Her left hook is particularly powerful, and she is slick about using it moving forward and backward. Aldana is also particularly difficult to take down due to her strength and good technique. She is good about digging underhooks when pressed up against the fence and getting back to peppering her opponent with shots. She keeps a high work rate while not putting herself in a ton of danger on the feet.

Macy Chiasson

Macy Chiasson trains at the UFC Performance Institute on July 21, 2021. (Photo by Zac Pacleb)

Macy Chiasson trains at the UFC Performance Institute on July 21, 2021. (Photo by Zac Pacleb)


Key Stats: 40.4% control time percentage (6th all-time among WBW), +2.16 striking differential (2nd all-time among WBW), 2.1 strikes absorbed per minute (2nd all-time among WBW

What It Means: Chiasson is a constantly improving fighter, and despite her lanky frame, she is one who likes to make fights grimy and grinding affairs. She has a good clinch and wrestles along the fence well. If her opponent gets back to their feet, she’ll strike with them while mixing up her targets well before initiating another grappling exchange. Chiasson keeps a high pace and has good footwork that allows her to cut off the cage and keep her opponent against the fence.

RELATED: Chiasson Grew Up Under The Brightest LightsView Chiasson's Athlete Profile 

What to Look For in the Fight: Chiasson is one to come out with heavy pressure right away, and although her striking is good, her best path to victory is to grapple with Aldana and take away the knockout threat the Mexican possesses. Aldana has great defensive grappling, so Chiasson might have to work through some fire, but she can outhustle her in some exchanges as well along the fence. On the feet, Aldana’s jab and left hook are her best weapons to keep Chiasson at bay, as well as make her pay for coming in recklessly.

Order UFC 279: Chimaev vs Diaz

UFC 279: Diaz vs Ferguson took place live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 10, 2022. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!