After an unprecedented last-minute change to UFC 279’s main card, Nate Diaz’s last contracted UFC fight ended with his hand raised after submitting Tony Ferguson via guillotine.
The two legends showed tremendous respect for each other, but when the fight began they both came out with a lot of energy. An early low kick from Ferguson was checked by Diaz, and caused a gash on Ferguson’s shin that lasted the rest of the fight. After the first round, Diaz seemed to have the advantage in his striking, being just a bit quicker and more efficient than Ferguson.
However, in the second round, Ferguson continued to punish Diaz’s lead leg, regardless of the wound on his own shin. The damage on Diaz’ leg became visible and his legs even got a bit wobbly.
The fight started to take some strange turns in Round 3, with both fighters turning each others backs to the other at multiple points. Diaz was playing as if he was tired, and the two started to have a bit of fun. But in the fourth round, Diaz’ striking started to come together and he really started to land, causing Tony to shoot for a takedown.
Diaz responded by retaining his guard and locking a guillotine that was tight enough to make Tony tap in seconds.
In his post-fight interview, Diaz explained that his camp was full of wrestling in preparation for his fight against Chimaev. He paid respects to his opponent, his team, his brother, Dana White, and the Fertittas, and then gracefully bowed out of the UFC. Diaz explained that he plans to explore other athletic opportunities, but might eventually return to the UFC again one day.
// MAIN CARD //
Nate Diaz def. Tony Ferguson via Submission (guillotine choke)
Khamzat Chimaev def. Kevin Holland via Submission (D’Arce choke)
Daniel Rodriguez def. Li Jingliang via Split Decision
Irene Aldana def. Macy Chiasson via TKO
Johnny Walker def. Ion Cutelaba via Submission (rear-naked choke)
// PRELIMS //
Julian Erosa def. Hakeem Dawodu via unanimous decision
Jailton Almeida def. Anton Turkalj via Submission (rear-naked choke)
Denis Tiuliulin def. Jamie Pickett via TKO
Chris Barnett def. Jake Collier via TKO
// EARLY PRELIMS //
Norma Dumont def. Danyelle Wolf via unanimous decision
Alatengheili def. Chad Anheliger via unanimous decision
Elise Reed def. Melissa Martinez via unanimous decision
Yohan Lainesse def. Darian Weeks via split decision