UFC 279 went down last night (Sat., Sept. 10, 2022) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, with Nate Diaz submitting Tony Ferguson in the main event of the evening in what could have been the Stockton slugger’s last fight inside the Octagon ... at least for a while (see it). In the co-main event, Khamzat Chimaev steamrolled Kevin Holland via first round submission (highlights).
Winner: Nate Diaz
Who He Should Face Next: ....
After his win over Ferguson, Diaz proclaimed that he would be taking a break from mixed martial arts (MMA) since he fought out his contract with UFC. He will now shift his attention to his own fight promotion, which he hopes to build up in the coming years. He did say he’d return to the Octagon down the road, but there’s no point in assuming he’ll face because it could be years before the Stockton slugger returns ... if ever.
Winner: Khamzat Chimaev
Who He Should Face Next: Colby Covington
After Chimaev earned his sixth straight win inside the Octagon by obliterating Kevin Holland, he will now have to win at least one more fight before he gets a shot at the title. That’s because “Borz” missed weight, badly, for his scheduled bout against Diaz, prompting the promotion to move a lot of pieces around to save the event. Had he fought and defeated Diaz, a title shot would be next. Instead, a fight against Covington seems to be in order. Covington is the No. 2-ranked fighter in the division and is coming off a dominant win over Jorge Masvidal. With Chimaev seeded No. 3, the fight makes sense. With a win, Chimaev can get the next title shot (assuming he makes weight). For Colby, it his chance to take out the Smesh Express on his path to another title fight.
Winner: Irene Aldana
Who She Should Face Next: Julianna Pena
Aldana picked up her second straight win after scoring one of the most unique knockouts in recent memory, crippling Macy Chiasson with an up-kick to the liver, which rendered her unable to continue. Aldana is currently ranked No. 4 in the women’s Bantamweight division, and has a win over the No. 2-ranked fighter, Ketlen Vieira. Sitting at No. 3 is Holly Holm, who defeated Aldana, but is coming off a loss to Vieira. Pena wants a third fight against Amanda Nunes, but I just don’t see her getting it. After all, she lost the title in her first defense and was absolutely mauled by “Lioness” in the rematch, so a third fight is not warranted. I think a fight against Aldana makes more sense.
Winner: Daniel Rodriguez
Who He Should Face Next: Kevin Holland
Call me crazy, but I still want to see this fight. The two were set to throw down at this event before all of the changes occurred. And the fact that I don’t think Rodriguez did enough to get the win against Li Jingliang only adds to my preference to see them get matched up again (for a third time). Holland didn’t look too good against Chimaev, but in his defense, neither has anyone else other than Gilbert Burns.
Winner: Johnny Walker
Who He Should Face Next: Paul Craig
Walker snapped his two-fight losing streak, scoring an impressive first round submission win over Ion Cutelaba. Up next for the towering Brazilian, a fight against Craig could be on the horizon. Craig is coming off a tough loss at the hands of Volkan Oezdemir, losing to “No Time” this past summer in London, England. While I normally don’t like pairing up losing fighters against winning ones, this one makes sense because Craig is ranked No. 9, while Walker sits at No. 13. A win over Craig moves Walker closer to the Top 10 and adds to his momentum moving forward.
For complete UFC 279 results and coverage click here.