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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Matthew Wells

UFC 279 results: Nate Diaz fights on his terms, submits Tony Ferguson in fourth round

LAS VEGAS – It wasn’t a typical fight week for Nate Diaz by any stretch of the imagination, but at the end of it all, he did things his way up until the moment his opponent tapped out in the main event of UFC 279.

Whether or not Diaz (21-13 MMA, 16-11 UFC) will grace the UFC’s octagon after fighting out his contract was not the only concern for him and the promotion this week. A late opponent change resulted in shifting Diaz from facing undefeated dynamo Khamzat Chimaev to former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson, who was originally scheduled to face Li Jingliang.

The welterweight bout was the UFC 279 main event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The fighters met in the middle and began exchanging punches for a fast start, but quickly settled into a more calculated pace. Diaz checked a kick from Ferguson which opened up a nasty gash on shin that began pouring blood. A few moments later, Diaz connected with a crisp two-punch combination, and followed it up with a point and a laugh. Ferguson acknowledged his opponent with a smile and a fist bump before getting back to exchanging strikes.

Ferguson tightened up his offense early in the second round to find some success, but Diaz adjusted and began picking his punches well. A strike busted open a cut over the right eye of Ferguson, an indication of how the second half of the round unfolded.

Diaz took control of the cage to start the third, smiling after the initial exchange. A few moments later, a hard leg kick from Ferguson hurt Diaz’s right leg. Diaz responded by turning and walking away while shaking his head, as Ferguson dropped to the center of the cage in a bizarre moment. Diaz later put his arm over the top of the cage as Ferguson stood looking on, prompting the referee to ask Diaz to return to the fight.

It became very apparent that Diaz was going to dictate every moment of the fight on his terms after these strange moments.

Peppering Ferguson with quick punches to start the fourth, Diaz was back to action. Keeping the pressure high as he unloaded combinations, Diaz countered a takedown attempt from Ferguson with a guillotine choke. It was a deep choke, and the tap came a few seconds later. The official time of the stoppage was 2:52.

Diaz, winner of “The Ultimate Fighter Season 5,” returns to the win column in what could be his final UFC bout after 28 appearances since his debut in 2007.

“All I know is it’s been a love-hate relationship with the UFC the whole time I’ve been in this f*cking organization,” Diaz said during his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.

Prior to dropping two outings to Leon Edwards and Jorge Masvidal, Diaz picked up a unanimous decision win over former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 in 2019.

Ferguson’s rough losing streak extends to five, stretching back to an interim title loss to Justin Gaethje at UFC 249. Prior to the string of setbacks, Ferguson won 12-straight fights, including picking up the interim lightweight title with a win over Kevin Lee at UFC 216.

Full UFC 279 results include:

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 279.

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