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With fireworks before UFC 279, welterweight Nate Diaz continues to be long-shot for storybook ending

It doesnt matter that Nate Diaz hasn’t been a UFC champion or he has 13 losses on his record.

If one fighter could ever be completely embody the fearless, rebellious, bloodthirsty spirit of the activity, it’s the Stockton, Californiaproduct who hasn’t wavered in maintaining his authentic and endearingpersonality.

So, the truth that his UFC contract closes Saturday night in a daunting UFC 279 main event against unbeaten Khamzat Chimaev (11-0) seems an inappropriate exit for the 37-year-old.

A smashing striker with lethal grappling skill, Chimaev told TheMacLife last month, I could smash he (Diaz), easy.

On Wednesday,Diaz, Chimaevand other UFC 279 participantswere reportedly involvedin an incident backstage, which disrupted thescheduled pre-fight press conference.

The Diaz camp arrived with 57 people. Khamzats team had 30-something people. You then had multiple guys going on back here. It had been crazy,” UFC president Dana White said.”It had been absolutely nuts back here. … You dont have to become a rocket scientist to determine where this whole press conference was headed.

White said the incident won’t jeopardizethe fights atthis time, but he did mention added security for Thursday’sceremonial weigh-ins and face-offs.

Khamzat Chimaev (-1200) vs. Nate Diaz (+650)welterweights

Third-ranked welterweight fighterNate Diaz has a lot more than sheer ability choosing him. His apparent distaste and disinterest in the matchup againstChimaevwhich he views being an chance of the UFC to prop up the name value of a gifted future champion could mean a grisly outcome, according toMMA Junkies Mike Bohn.

I believe its likely to be considered a mauling, Bohn said. Nate is talking like he doesnt wish to be here. ‘Go ahead and beat me.’ Also it appears like he wants this to be over and on his way to avoid it.

The oddsmakers foresee exactly the same, with Tipico Sportsbook setting Chimaev as a -1200 favorite and Diaz because the +650 underdog.

Within an ESPN interview this week, Diaz described the UFC as a machine intent to recognize another best fighter.

What theyve got me doing at this time is theyre acting like I needed this fight, that i didnt … but still dont want. Pressures on him because hes another killer around. Theyre saying hes the very best in town. EASILY whip his (rear), theyre likely to say, Oh, he wasnt the very best around … . This fights not concerning this guy. Its about causeing this to be guy. … (Expletive) them. (Expletive) everybody.

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Diaz,who once puffed smoke from the vape pen following second of his two fights against Conor McGregor, wouldve been better feted against a rival who createsa more competitive and mutually destructive affair.

Bohn keenly suggested famous brands co-main-event fighter Tony Ferguson,Dustin Poirier or Jorge Masvidal.

With Diaz headed out the entranceway,atrilogy date with McGregor may have poetically sent both legends to retirement.

Their first bout, when McGregor decided to progress in weight to defend myself against the last-minute replacement Diaz in UFC 196, was a vintage.

Among MMAs best strikers, Diaz, shrugged off a hellacious cut at the proper eye and landed heavy practical the charismatic Irishman, then found McGregoron the bottom to submit him by chokehold.

The rematch, six years back,mightve been the very best fight in UFC history. McGregor emergedwith a victory by decision.

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Conor only has two fights left on his contract, so maybe they are able to do (the trilogy) beyond your UFC under their very own promotions and never have to pay the UFC its 80%, Bohn said.

Imagine it: Diazdelivers the double middle fingers to his foe in the beginning, absorbs and delivers heavy punishment, poursout some final ounces of blood onto the canvas and delivers another memorable finish, rising in conquest to the cheering thousands in NEVADA.

A cornerman hands him something lit. He requires a few puffs, tosses it to the mat beforeextinguishing it along with his bare foot and leaves the arena as a permanent legend.

Instead, the 2007 “THE BEST Fighter” championwill fight Chimaev. Tipico set the over/under for rounds at 1.5 for a fight scheduled for five.

The pick: Chimaev by third-round TKO.

Li Jingliang (-340) vs. Tony Ferguson (+250) welterweights

With the second-most knockouts in UFC welterweight history behind Matt Brown, Chinas Jingliang is really a lethal striker wanting to inflict more punishment upon the former top lightweight contender who was simply crushed by way of a Michael Chandler knockout earlier this season.

I didnt think wed see (Ferguson) fight again for per year, Bohn said. Hed be foolish to stand before he.

Bohn also questions Fergusons progress in weight as he endures a four-fight losing streak. Does he have the punching capacity to shake Jingliang? Does he contain the strength to take him down?

The pick: Jingliang by second-round knockout.

Kevin Holland (-195) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (+165)catchweight

A bout made on short notice has taken needed depth to the card, and Bohn views it because the biggest coin-toss” fightof the ESPN+ pay-per-view portion.

Rodriguez is riding a three-fight win streak but is coming off a hand injury.Holland originates from a good team and contains dangerous hands.

The pick: Holland by unanimous decision, with over 2.5 rounds at -112.

No. 4 Irene Aldana (-175) vs. No. 10 Macy Chiasson (+150) womens bantamweights

The worthiness of Chiasson will probably be worth exploring, Bohn contends.

Shes from the good team (Fortis MMA in Dallas) and contains been on a roll while, with Aldana, Im not sure where shes at, he said. She lost convincingly to Holly Holm, has been off 14 months, had COVID bad plus some injuries.

The coronavirus battle impacted Aldanas cardio, and fight-night cardio tests are rigorous.

So theres justification to opt for the underdog, Bohn said. Aldana has good boxing, and her best version wins this fight. Nevertheless, you just dont understand how she actually is.

The pick: Chiasson by decision.

Johnny Walker (+165) vs. Ion Cutealba (-195)light-heavyweights

The bloom is off Walker. He moves to McGregors camp, working under John Kavanagh, prompting Bohn to wonder how Walkers brawling style will mesh with a far more technical approach.

Its Cutealbas do-or-die approach that nudges Bohn to suggest the under 1.5 rounds (-165) here.

He’s got one gear: Move forward to attempt to take your mind off, so its about whoever lands first, he said.

The pick: Under 1.5 rounds.

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