Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz will engage in a five-round fight at UFC 279 in Las Vegas in less than two weeks. Li "Leech" Jingliang, a recent guest on The MMA Hour, predicted that Diaz might defeat "Borz" despite being the underdog. Li was Chimaev's previous opponent.
Although they probably don't need much of a reminder these days, Li Jingliang is here to remind MMA fans that anything can happen in the octagon. Because no underdog can ever be counted off, there is a new UFC welterweight champion in place right now. So before UFC 279, Jingliang won't be treating Nate Diaz similarly.
“I can’t give you a number about the chance [Diaz will win], but we all know based on the statistics and the data, Khamzat is the favorite, Nate is the underdog.”
''Another big X-factor is Nate Diaz is Nate Diaz — you don’t know what happens if the fight goes to the fifth round and the last minute and last seconds if you fight with Nate Diaz. What we really need is a miracle, is a surprise in the fight, and I believe Nate Diaz is the guy that can give you this.”
In the fifth round of their clash at UFC 263, Diaz nearly pulled off a miraculous upset by hurting the British welterweight late. Similarly another upset took place at UFC 278. With a head-kick knockout of Kamaru Usman Edwards went on to record what may be the defining come-from-behind victory in UFC history.
He further added on his beliefs of Diaz upsetting Chimaev,
“I said to my boxing coach before that fight, I think Leon has a chance to knock out Kamaru Usman, and then what happens in the fight?” “We all know Kamaru Usman is a very well-rounded fighter, but I think most people underestimate how good Leon is at striking, and like I said, anything can happen at any moment in this sport.”
“It doesn’t matter if you are an underdog in other’s eyes. You have to trust in yourself and fight for your family, no matter who you fight against. If you are in the octagon, you are 50-50.”
Because of this, Jingliang doesn't give much credence to those who have criticized his own fight, an interesting clash with former interim lightweight championship challenger Tony Ferguson in UFC 279's co-main event. Many question Ferguson's recent performance, which includes a four-fight losing streak that included a horrific knockout, and his decision to compete in the welterweight class, where Jingliang has a significant experience advantage.
The Chinese warrior, who just defeated Muslim Salikhov, is not competing for a job or a career. Ferguson's chances of bouncing back from his fifth consecutive UFC defeat would be slim if he was to lose.
UFC 279 promises to be action packed and gives the fans a run for their money. Will Nate Diaz be able to upset Khamzat Chimaev and stop the hype train once and for all? Let us know in the comments.