UFC 279: Nate Diaz submits Tony Ferguson in vintage fashion, teases a return to the UFC

·Combat columnist
·2 min read

LAS VEGAS — Nate Diaz put on a vintage performance Saturday in the main event of UFC 279 at T-Mobile Arena, submitting Tony Ferguson with a guillotine choke at 2:52 of the fourth round in the new main event.

Diaz left the door open for a return to the UFC, but said he planned to show fighters how to take over another sport.

“I want to get out of the UFC for a minute and show all these UFC fighters how to take over and own up another sport how you're supposed to do it,” Diaz said in the cage. “Conor McGregor didn’t know how to do it. None of these other fighters know how to do it. So I’m going to go out there, I'm going to take over another, another profession and become the best at that — show everbody I'm the best at that.”

He said after that, he’d consider a return to the UFC and would chase a title.

He wound up fighting Ferguson after Khamzat Chimaev missed weight on Friday and the UFC was forced to change the final three fights on the main card.

Chimaev was a -1200 favorite over Diaz, but when the fights were changed, Diaz closed as only a +125 underdog to Ferguson. Though Ferguson was a -150 favorite, there were six times as many tickets written on Diaz.

Diaz put on one of his typical performances. He boxed a lot, circling the cage but having more success as the fight wore on. He was opening up on Ferguson as the second round began and was hurting him by the time they got to the fourth.

Ferguson was bloodied by his right eye and had a massive gash on his left shin.

Diaz’s legs showed the impact of Ferguson’s kicks, but Diaz just was too much with the hands. Diaz clearly relished facing Ferguson instead of Chimaev.

“It was good to fight another OG and not [Chimaev’s] bitch ass,” Diaz said.

The crowd cheered Diaz heavily throughout the fight but erupted in celebration when Ferguson tapped

Nate Diaz, left, reacts after defeating Tony Ferguson in a welterweight bout during the UFC 279 mixed martial arts event Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Nate Diaz, left, reacts after defeating Tony Ferguson in a welterweight bout during the UFC 279 mixed martial arts event Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)