UFC 279 went down last night (Sat., Sept. 10, 2022) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, with a drastically modified pay-per-view (PPV) main card, leading to Nate Diaz and Tony Ferguson scrapping it out in the main event. That fight went four hard rounds, with Diaz tapping Ferguson with a slick guillotine choke just as the clock hit 2:09 remaining (nice!).
It was a stunning reversal of fortunes for Diaz, who was the sacrificial lamb coming into UFC 279 until the butcher, Khamzat Chimaev, flubbed his weight cut, forcing the entire card to shuffle musical chairs style. Now, Diaz gets to walk away with all the cred for accepting the toughest fight, a last-minute opponent change, and a solid win.
UFC President, Dana White, praised Diaz at UFC 279’s post-fight press conference, but also had some words for Ferguson’s corner. In White’s mind, they led him astray with their strategy.
“Listen, they’re both older guys that have been around here a long time and yeah, it was what I expected,” White said regarding the fight.
“[Nate is] so durable and so tough and literally,” he said. “I don’t know if you guys have monitors there or if you can hear, but we went into their corner, Tony’s corner [before] that round, and for some reason told him to take him down. Said ‘Take him down!’ He was chopping that leg and kicking that front leg, obviously doing damage. And his corner told him to take him down. And Nate capitalized on that the minute he did it.”
Diaz definitely agreed that it was a mistake to go to the ground with him. When he showed up at the presser, his message was simple.
“In life, if anyone shoots at me they get choked, Kron Gracie style,” Diaz declared.
Ref was getting annoyed with Diaz walking away throughout different times in the fight. Just a reminder of why Nate Diaz fights are so fun to watch. I hope he stays in the @UFC. pic.twitter.com/vQrXWmSVa0— Calibos The Quixotical Skeptic (@Calibos420) September 11, 2022
And that’s exactly what happened to “El Cucuy” when he decided to take down Diaz rather than continue to hammer Diaz’s legs with kicks. Of course, it’s easy for those on the sidelines to say what should have happened. Ferguson’s shin was a bloody mess from the start of the fight, so there’s questions as to whether he was capable of throwing however many more kicks it would have taken to get Nate out.
But, with Diaz spending half of round three walking away from Ferguson like those kicks were making him reconsider mixed martial arts (MMA) as a career, it may not have taken too many more.
For complete UFC 279: “Diaz vs. Ferguson” results and play-by-play, click HERE.