UFC 279 went down last night (Sat., Sept. 10, 2022) in Las Vegas, Nevada, a pay-per-view (PPV) card that had a major facelift a little more than 24 hours from showtime after Khamzat Chimaev missed weight. That led to Tony Ferguson agreeing to step in to face Nate Diaz in Welterweight action, ultimately coming short after he was submitted by Diaz (highlights). Speaking of Chimaev, he made quick work of Kevin Holland by forcing “Traiblazer” to tap a little more than two minutes into the first round (see it).
Biggest Winner: Nate Diaz
While most expected Diaz to walk out of UFC 279 with his head low and on a loss to Chimaev no more than 48 hours ago, the Stockton slugger wound up coming out of the event the biggest winner. Not only did he defeat Ferguson via submission after an entertaining scrap, he gets to take a break from the promotion on a winning note. And if and when he does return, he will have favor with UFC in what Diaz called a “love-hate” relationship between the two because he did them a favor and stayed on the card to fight Ferguson. And if you don’t think UFC upped his paycheck a bit for doing so, you’re highly-mistaken. Also, everything Diaz did over the last two days has only increased the love fans have for him, helping him to remain as one of the most beloved fighters in the sport today. Whether or not he does make a return to UFC down the line remains to be seen, but if he doesn’t, he has the satisfaction of knowing he went out on a winning note.
Runner Up: Khamzat Chimaev
Scale fail aside, Chimaev once again showed why he is one of the most dangerous and entertaining fighters on the roster after he absolutely dominated Kevin Holland in the first round en route to a submission win. “Borz” improved to 12-0, 6-0 UFC, though he now has an uncertain future — as far as weight classes go — as a result of his missing weight, but he is determined to stay at Welterweight. And he should because he has only missed weight once, so let’s not act like he has a habit of scale fails, though one botched weight cut is good enough to be labeled unprofessional. Still, Dana White has backed Chimaev’s claims that his missing weight had to do with medical issues and doctor’s orders. But, it’s going to take a little more than a quick win for Chimaev to get the fans back on his side, though I guess it’s a good thing he doesn’t care what fans think. However, if moving up and down from Welterweight to Middleweight is going to cause future problems such as this, Chimaev needs to settle on one weight class and stick to it for good or show he can be professional and keep making 171 pounds if he wants to stay at Welterweight.
Biggest Loser: Tony Ferguson
This one was kind of tough because Holland was absolutely rag-dolled by Chimaev in the first round and could easily take this spot, so I don’t blame you for putting him on your list. But, we still have to give Ferguson the nod here for the sheer fact that he has now lost five straight fights. And it pains me to do so because he stepped up to the main event slot to take part in a five-round fight against Diaz to salvage the event, but five straight defeats does no one any favors. On the bright side, as a result of the aforementioned point I made about “El Cucuy” doing UFC a solid last-minute, it gives him a pass to live and fight another day inside the Octagon. But, if he suffers his sixth straight defeat in his next fight, it could be the end of the road for him. Unless, of course, the promotion gives Ferguson the Sam Alvey treatment.
For complete UFC 279 results and coverage click here.