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Nate Diaz chokes out Tony Ferguson to end chaotic UFC 279

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nate Diaz stopped Tony Ferguson with a guillotine choke within the fourth spherical of the rapidly organized foremost occasion of UFC 279 on Saturday evening.

The 37-year-old Diaz (21-13) completed his present UFC contract by ending fellow veteran Ferguson (25-9) in a matchup solely made on Friday after Khamzat Chimaev badly missed weight for his main-event bout with Diaz.

Chimaev stopped Kevin Holland with a D’Arce choke 2:13 into the primary spherical of their grudge match, which was additionally created after Chimaev (12-0) missed weight by 7 1/2 kilos on Friday morning. The UFC dramatically shuffled its card to maintain each Chimaev and Diaz on the present, leading to three new matchups for the ultimate three fights at T-Cellular Area.

Diaz’s want to battle the vaunted Chimaev appeared foolhardy in a distinctly Diaz manner, however the late matchup with Ferguson was rather more aggressive than the unique reserving doubtless would have been. Ferguson, who solely agreed to be on the cardboard three weeks in the past, had misplaced his earlier 4 fights over the previous three years, whereas Diaz was 1-2 within the final six years.

“On the finish of the day, I like the UFC,” Diaz mentioned. “I really feel like I’ve had the longest profession within the UFC, and I’ve had probably the most profitable one out of everyone.”

Diaz landed punches recurrently on Ferguson within the first two rounds, and he performed to the gang within the third with lengthy walks across the cage between exchanges, even resting with one arm atop the cage momentarily.

Ferguson received Diaz’s consideration with leg kicks — however when Ferguson tried to get right into a grappling match, Diaz utilized the choke and completed at 2:52 of the fourth.

Diaz has already introduced plans to start out his personal promotional firm exterior the UFC, and every battle might be the final for a well-loved fighter who has competed solely 4 occasions within the final six years.

However Diaz won’t be completed with the UFC, since he received a tweet earlier Saturday from Conor McGregor, who promised to finish their trilogy. Diaz and McGregor cut up two largely thrilling bouts in 2016, and the outcomes catapulted Diaz into the highest echelon of celebrities in blended martial arts.

“I wish to get out of the UFC for a minute and present these UFC fighters the right way to take over and personal up one other sport the way you’re presupposed to do it,” Diaz mentioned. “As a result of Conor McGregor didn’t know the right way to do it, and none of those different fighters know the right way to do it, so I’m going to go on the market and I’m going to take over one other group, one other occupation, and grow to be the very best at that, after which I’m going to be proper again right here to get one other UFC title. It’s the very best battle on the earth.”

The pay-per-view went off with a number of important adjustments made simply sooner or later earlier as a result of Chimaev did not come near his contracted weight — after which shrugged and smiled about it on the dimensions. Chimaev, the Chechnya-born Swede thought of certainly one of MMA’s prime rising abilities, was loudly booed by the gang simply off the Las Vegas Strip on battle evening.

As an alternative of eradicating Chimaev or Diaz from the cardboard, the UFC scrambled to make three new matchups for the highest three fights on the present. Diaz and Ferguson had been paired in a battle lengthy coveted by MMA followers however initially rejected by Diaz, whereas Chimaev was matched at a catchweight in opposition to Holland.

Chimaev and Holland already had unhealthy blood from earlier within the week after they fought backstage on the UFC 279 information convention, forcing the occasion’s cancellation.

After a frantic alternate within the opening seconds, Chimaev made fast work of Holland. His burgeoning repute as a heel solely grew when he was requested about lacking weight within the post-fight interview and responded “I do not care about (that),” to thunderous boos.

“I am the black belt right here,” Chimaev added. “I am Mike Tyson. I am Muhammad Ali.”

Li Jingliang, who started the week anticipating to face Ferguson, was matched with Daniel Rodriguez, Holland’s scheduled opponent. Rodriguez (17-2) beat Li (19-8) by cut up determination in an uneventful bout during which each fighters had been understandably cautious of their unfamiliar opponent.

Mild heavyweight Johnny Walker led off the pay-per-view card with a submission of Ion Cuțelaba earlier than Irene Aldana stopped Macy Chiasson with a rare upkick to the physique whereas Aldana was down on the canvas. Aldana drove her heel into Chiasson’s stomach whereas Chiasson was towering over her, ending the battle abruptly.

On the early undercard, heavyweight Chris Barnett stopped Jake Collier within the first spherical with punches. Barnett missed weight for his bout, which was fought at a catchweight.


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