UFC 279 Jingliang vs Rodriguez Picks and Predictions: Last-Minute Change Not Good for Li

The UFC 279 card has been turned on its head in the last 24 hours, and now we're left with what should be an exciting fight between Jingliang and Rodriguez. Our UFC betting picks predict a close fight, but one "D-Rod" should win.

Last Updated: Sep 10, 2022 11:19 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Daniel Rodriguez UFC
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

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
Outright win +130 -160
To win by KO/TKO +340 +340
To win by Points +360 +170
To win by Submission +2,600 +1,300
Draw +5,000 +5,000

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook on September 10, 2022.

Jingliang vs Rodriguez picks

Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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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.

Covers UFC 279 Betting Analysis

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
34 Age 35
6-feet Height 6-feet
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.

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)

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.

PickRodriguez moneyline (-150 at DraftKings)

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