At UFC 279 on Saturday, Nate Diaz submitted Tony Ferguson in the fourth round to win the final contest of his contract with the organisation, capping off an exceptional week for the UFC.
The press conference on Thursday was cut short due to an altercation behind the scenes, and on Friday morning, Khamzat Chimaev’s intended main event fight with Diaz was scrapped since he was not able to compete at welterweight.
The rescheduled main event did not disappoint despite Ferguson stepping up to fight Diaz, Chimaev facing Kevin Holland, and Li Jingliang taking on Daniel Rodriguez due to that miss.
In front of a packed house at the T-Mobile Arena, the 37-year-old Diaz dismantled Ferguson over the opening three rounds before finishing the fight with a guillotine choke.
The second round saw the fan favourite from Stockton, California cut above Ferguson’s right eye as his precise boxing began to wear thin.
Ferguson countered by hacking at Diaz’s lead leg to slow him down, but Diaz was still able to land his combinations and push Ferguson back. Diaz also played with the fans by pacing around the cage and resting against it.
Ferguson attempted a takedown in the fourth round, but Diaz—whom McGregor lost to through submission in 2016—circled Ferguson’s neck with his arm and dragged him to the floor to win.
“I want to get out of the UFC for a minute and show these UFC fighters how to take over and own another sport .. I’m gonna go out there, take over another profession … and then I’ll be right back here to get a UFC title,” Diaz said in the octagon.
, who is of Chechen descent, was loudly jeered as he entered the cage, but as soon as the bout started, he wasted no time in going for a takedown and starting a series of intense wrestling battles that went in his favour.
To the chagrin of the fans, the 28-year-old outclassed Holland on the mat before securing the victory by securing a Darce choke and forcing his opponent to submit at the 2:13 mark of the first round.
“I’m the most dangerous guy here. I’m coming for everyone. I kill everyone, I’m going to go through everyone, no-one can stop me!” a defiant Chimaev roared in his post-fight interview as the boos rolled down from the stands.
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