Li Jingliang vs. Daniel Rodriguez is on the main card for UFC 279 betting after a crazy Friday which saw several fight cards shuffled.
Li was originally supposed to square off at welterweight against former lightweight contender Tony Ferguson, but will instead face the younger and bigger Rodriguez who had previously agreed to a 180-pound catchweight bout with Kevin Holland on short notice. UFC odds opened with Rodriguez as a slim -150 favorite with Li the underdog at +125.
Here are my best free Jingliang vs. Rodriguez picks and predictions for September 10 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jingliang vs Rodriguez fight odds
|Method of Victory||Li Jingliang||Daniel Rodriguez|
|To win by KO/TKO||+340||+340|
|To win by Points||+360||+170|
|To win by Submission||+2,600||+1,300|
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook on September 10, 2022.
Jingliang vs Rodriguez picks
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
If you’re signing up for a new sportsbook for UFC betting, here are two of the best bonuses* available:
A) New users at FanDuel can bet $5 and get $150 in free bets! Sign Up Now
B) New users can get two risk-free bets up to $2,000 at PointsBet! Sign Up Now
*Eligible USA locations only
Jingliang vs Rodriguez betting preview
"The Leetch" Li Jingliang is fresh off a second-round knockout win against Muslim Salkhov in July, which allowed him to bounce back from a lopsided loss to Khamzat Chimaev last October.
Li is 5-2 in his last seven fights, earning four Performance of the Night bonuses and racking up four wins by knockout during that span.
With a background in Sanda, the 34-year-old is a high-end striker with explosive power and solid technique. "The Leetch" averages 4.39 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 3.66.
Daniel Rodriguez made his promotional debut as a 33-year-old in 2020 and promptly won his first three fights, submitting Tim Means, outpointing Gabriel Green, and knocking out Dwight Grant all within the same calendar year.
After suffering a setback against Nicolas Dalby, he has strung together another three-fight winning streak — most recently beating Kevin Lee by unanimous decision as a slim +120 underdog.
Rodriguez is supremely conditioned and does not stop coming. He lands a whopping 8.06 significant strikes per minute and prefers to keep the fight standing with strong takedown defense.
Jingliang vs Rodriguez tale of the tape
|Li Jingliang||Daniel Rodriguez|
|170 lbs||Weight||179 lbs|
|72 inches||Reach||74 inches|
|19-7 (10 KOs)||Record||16-2 (8 KOs)|
Jingliang vs Rodriguez UFC prediction and best bet
Our prediction is compiled from the analysis of the fighters and is an indication of who we are leaning with to win this bout.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this fight or where the most value lies, and is where we would put some of our bankroll behind.
Prediction: Rodriguez moneyline
This should be a banger between a pair of guys that love to stay on their feet and strike. Li has more power but Rodriguez is bigger and throws with more volume.
In theory, both should find it equally tough to fight against an opponent they weren't preparing for, but it will be harder for Li who will now have to deal with a southpaw — and one that benefitted from an easier cut and weighed in at nine pounds more.
Rodriguez is also very much used to facing guys on short notice since this will be his sixth such fight in the UFC since making his promotional debut in 2020.
"D-Rod" can be a bit hittable at times which is dangerous against someone with Li's knockout power, but his pressure and pace will make it tough for "The Leetch" to find his range and get into his striking rhythm.
Prediction: Rodriguez moneyline (-150 at DraftKings)
Best bet: Pick
You have to feel bad for a guy like Li who bought a flashy new suit for the press conference but got sent home after the backstage brawl. Now he successfully makes weight and is "rewarded" with a fight against a lesser name in Rodriguez who is actually more dangerous and is allowed to be a weight bully.
The stylistic matchup of taking on a southpaw on short notice will also be tough to deal with and his heavy hands will be met by D-Rod's granite chin and crisp counter-striking.
Rodriguez's output, pressure, and pace should lead to a victory against Li who is unfairly being put in a very tough spot with this last-minute matchup change.
Pick: Rodriguez moneyline (-150 at DraftKings)