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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 swiftly organized foremost occasion of UFC 279 on Saturday night time.

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-Cell Enviornment.

Diaz’s want to struggle the vaunted Chimaev appeared foolhardy in a distinctly Diaz method, however the late matchup with Ferguson was far more aggressive than the unique reserving probably 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 stated. “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 usually 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 bought 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 outdoors the UFC, and every struggle might be the final for a well-loved fighter who has competed solely 4 instances within the final six years.

However Diaz won’t be performed with the UFC, since he bought 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 combined martial arts.

“I wish to get out of the UFC for a minute and present these UFC fighters how one can take over and personal up one other sport the way you’re purported to do it,” Diaz stated. “As a result of Conor McGregor didn’t know how one can do it, and none of those different fighters know how one can do it, so I’m going to go on the market and I’m going to take over one other group, one other career, and turn into 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 this planet.”

The pay-per-view went off with a number of important modifications 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 size. Chimaev, the Chechnya-born Swede thought-about one in every of MMA’s high rising abilities, was loudly booed by the gang simply off the Las Vegas Strip on struggle night time.

As a substitute 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 have been paired in a struggle lengthy coveted by MMA followers however initially rejected by Diaz, whereas Chimaev was matched at a catchweight towards Holland.

Chimaev and Holland already had dangerous blood from earlier within the week once 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 fame 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 choice in an uneventful bout during which each fighters have been understandably cautious of their unfamiliar opponent.

Gentle 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 struggle 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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Extra AP sports activities: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports



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