College Football Pick’em
Start or Sit (NFC Home Games)
Talking the business of sports
Nothing about the UFC 279 main event was as it was supposed to be. Nothing, that is, except for the fight between Nate Diaz and Tony Ferguson serving as perhaps the perfect swan song for the always-defiant native of Stockton, California, as he closed out his UFC contract with a fourth-round submission victory.
Ferguson came out from the opening moments with a leg kick-heavy attack. One of the first kicks he threw in the fight led his shin to collide with Diaz’s, immediately opening a cut on Ferguson’s shin that would continue to bleed for the rest of the fight. Those kicks continued to land throughout the fight, leading Diaz’s lead leg to bruise and swell.
Despite taking heavy damage, Diaz continued trying to stalk Ferguson and throw combinations and hard left hands when he was able to close distance or get Ferguson’s back to the cage.
Even as Diaz had success, Ferguson continued landing hard leg kicks. Eventually, Diaz seemed frustrated by the incoming damage and he began to walk around the outside of the cage, shaking his head as the referee demanded he engage in the fight once more.
Diaz would do so, letting his hands go more and tagging Ferguson with combinations.
In the fourth round, Ferguson looked for a takedown, a move his corner had been asking for over the previous two rounds. That decision turned out to be Ferguson’s undoing as Diaz quickly locked in a guillotine choke and squeezed until Ferguson was forced to tap at the 2:52 mark of the round.
Can’t get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news, including instant analysis of UFC 279 at the conclusion of the PPV.
“Full-blown wrestling fight camp,” Diaz said after the fight, explaining his readiness to defend takedown attempts with the choke. “I didn’t do no boxing. So, we made that happen.”
Diaz, who confirmed he would look to find opportunities outside the Octagon with his contract now fulfilled, then addressed Khamzat Chimaev, the man he was supposed to face in the main event. Chimaev badly missed weight on Friday, forcing the UFC to shuffle three fights into three new match-ups.
“I was like, this is such a bitch-ass rookie,” Diaz said. “I’m not even worried about a bitch-ass rookie.”
The loss was Ferguson’s fifth straight loss and the third time he’d been finished in that stretch. The losing skid is a sharp contrast from the 12-fight winning streak that preceded it and saw Ferguson become interim lightweight champion while establishing himself as one of the sport’s elite 155-pound fighters.
Originally set to face Li Jingliang in a three-round fight, which was Ferguson’s welterweight debut, he accepted the change to the five-round main event on Friday.
Diaz snapped his own two-fight losing skid and said he’s now ready to take over another sport, possibly hinting at a desire to meet social media star Jake Paul in the boxing ring after Paul battles UFC legend Anderson Silva in October.
“All I know is it’s been a love-hate relationship with UFC for as long as I’ve been in this f—ing company,” Diaz said. “But I love UFC. … I want to get out of the UFC for a minute and show all these UFC fighters how to take over and own up another sport. How you’re supposed to do it. Conor McGregor didn’t know how to do it. None of these other fighters know how to do it. I’m going to go out there, take over another profession and become the best at that. Show everybody I’m the best at that and then I’m going to be right the f— back to get a motherf—ing UFC title.”
Elsewhere on the card, Diaz’s original opponent, Khamzat Chimaev, reminded of his impending dominance with a first-round submission of Kevin Holland. Chimaev, who missed weight by 7.5 pounds on Friday and caused the entire overhaul to the card, was unapologetic in his post-fight interview and still intends on fighting for the welterweight title next.
CBS Sports was with you the entire way on Saturday bringing you all the results and highlights from the UFC 279 below.
Nate Diaz vs. Tony Ferguson — Round 4: Ferguson again nailed a leg kick early. Diaz staggered Ferguson with a left hand and tried to follow up but Ferguson managed to move out of danger. Diaz connected with a good flurry and again moments later. Ferguson dug in with a good left hook to Diaz’s body. Ferguson drove in for a takedown, just as his corner had asked for two straight rounds and found himself immediately locked in a guillotine choke. Ferguson had no escape and was forced to tap out. Official result: Nate Diaz def. Tony Ferguson via submission (guillotine choke), Round 4
Handing out 4️⃣ POTN bonuses after an iconic event! 💸 #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/T9HTCLwHeE
The Octagon-side reactions tell it all 🙌 #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/O1BWVFJTag
Tony Ferguson ladies and gentlemen!!!! #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/Xle6ktWPEQ
LEGENDS! #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/eSZt320D5O
Nate Diaz sounds off to close out #UFC279! pic.twitter.com/S6eGlB77lM
🗣 @NateDiaz209!!!!!!!!!! #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/LD5TW04FUM
NATE DIAZ DOES ONE MORE TIME!!!!!!! #UFC279 🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯 pic.twitter.com/ta75j4ueC3
Just in case you were wondering… it’s Tony Time ⌚️ #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/Cpwliebg8l
Nate Diaz vs. Tony Ferguson — Round 3: Diaz landed a good right hand early. Ferguson continued to batter Diaz’s lead leg with kicks. Diaz started walking around the cage shaking his head as the ref demanded he fight. Diaz eventually obliged and flurried before laughing. Still, Ferguson landed more brutal kicks to Diaz’s leg. Diaz chased Ferguson trying to throw punches before starting to talk to people at cage side. Diaz again landed some punches and a body kick. Diaz landed some shots against the cage before absorbing more leg kicks. Tight rounds continue. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Diaz (29-28 Diaz)
👉 #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/HdPny2BZCQ
Nate being Nate 🤣 #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/JXNdDcBKaf
OGs of the fight game! #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/4pqOSAcqE0
Two rounds in the books. Tony is wearing some damage 👀 #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/rr7bj3ofri
Nate Diaz vs. Tony Ferguson — Round 2: Diaz landed a good leg kick and Ferguson answered with one of his own. Diaz worked in combinations, throwing two punches into a kick but Ferguson tagged him with a good uppercut. Ferguson kept working the leg kicks but he also suffered a cut over his right eye. Diaz landed a good left hand that set Ferguson backward. Another close round but Ferguson may have edged it with his leg kicks. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Ferguson (19-19)
Nate Diaz vs. Tony Ferguson — Round 1: Both men whipped some looping shots early before Ferguson tried a spinning strike. Ferguson caught a Diaz kick and forced Diaz to the ground but Diaz got right back to his feet. Ferguson pressured, though his shin was bleeding badly from a kick check from Diaz. Diaz was hunting, trying to figure out timing and range as Ferguson took odd angles. Diaz landed a good left hand and laughed before the two touched gloves. Daiz landed a jab and a leg kick and a good right hand. Ferguson landed some good leg kicks. Diaz landed one more good shot late in the round. Very close overall but Diaz landed the harder shots it seemed. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Diaz
LET’S F****** GO 🤬 #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/bq2rhDmTIE
There’s only one @NateDiaz209 #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/gzWcYA2VUk
EL CUCUY 😎 #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/MlCqAuUwJn
Another fight absorbing ZERO strikes 🤯 #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/Dk3iAB3hhC
And, just like that, it’s time for the main event. Nate Diaz vs. Tony Ferguson in a welterweight clash. This is Diaz’s final fight on his UFC deal and he has vowed to test himself outside of the promotion. It will be interesting how two men on losing skids handle a last-minute change in opponent.
Who can stop @KChimaev???????? #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/GgWVoRgRT5
DOMINATION FROM THE SECONDS INTO THE FIGHT 😱 #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/LAnAhymZGq
Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kevin Holland — Round 1: Chimaev immediately drove for the takedown and Holland fought to get back to his feet. Chimaev stuck to Holland until he did get the takedown. Holland spun and nearly locked up a triangle before getting to his feet. Chimaev again got the takedown and tried to lock up a d’arce choke. Holland escaped but got in a tighter version of the choke. Holland continued to fight but was forced to tap as Chimaev kept squeezing. Official result: Khamzat Chimaev def. Kevin Holland via submission (d’arce choke), Round 1
Security is ready 👀 #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/X9ccGLz6pY
🔥 BRING 🔥 THE 🔥 HEAT 🔥
It started backstage at the presser, now @KChimaev & @Trailblaze2Top get to lock the Octagon door behind them LIVE on @ESPNPlus PPV! #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/iJYTXmYEzX
Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kevin Holland is up next. Chimaev is the man who caused the chaos with the card shuffling by missing weight horribly and forcing six men to shuffle opponents.
The fight you’ve all been asking for!
@DustinPoirier is set to take on @MikeChandlerMMA at #UFC281 🍿
[ Nov 12 | @TheGarden | https://t.co/IRCmP19XGr ] pic.twitter.com/JRkX4QraIE
🗣 By split decision… Daniel Rodriguez! #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/X8cRSYjBTc
Official result: Daniel Rodriguez def. Li Jingliang via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
© 2004-2022 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.
CBS Sports is a registered trademark of CBS Broadcasting Inc. Commissioner.com is a registered trademark of CBS Interactive Inc.
Images by Getty Images and US Presswire