Sunday, October 2, 2022

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UFC 279 takeaways, results: Nate Diaz gets an earned hero’s exit, Khamzat Chimaev remains a problem

This wasn’t the cardboard UFC initially had in thoughts when it put collectively Saturday’s UFC 279 pay-per-view in Las Vegas, however the revamped lineup following a surprising weigh-in fiasco turned out to be one heck of an attention-grabbing (if not, outright weird) improve.

Nate Diaz fought out his UFC contract after 15 years however did so by defeating alternative opponent — and fellow motion hero — Tony Ferguson by way of a fourth-round submission. Khamzat Chimaev, who was bumped to the co-main occasion after lacking weight by 8.5 kilos and setting off a ripple impact of chaos on Friday, demolished Kevin Holland to avoid wasting face one of the best ways he knew how. 

With a lot craziness to kind by, let’s take a better have a look at the largest takeaways from this weekend’s occasion inside T-Cell Enviornment. 

1. This was the UFC exit a legend like Nate Diaz deserved

Let’s simply say the MMA gods have been smiling down upon Diaz this week. Pressured to just accept actually the hardest matchup accessible to him with the intention to snap a 15-month layoff and struggle out his deal, Diaz discovered some much-needed good karma when the -1100 favourite Chimaev was compelled to halt his weight reduce on the recommendation of medical doctors. The unique UFC 279 predominant occasion supplied the doubtless potential that Diaz would see his superstar model trampled upon on the way in which out in a transfer that was actually shrewd matchmaking by the promotion in hopes of constructing Chimaev a star, however sadly typical of the love/hate relationship Diaz, and older brother Nick, have lengthy had with the group. As an alternative, Diaz was despatched off as a conquering hero after enduring damaging leg strikes from Ferguson till he was in a position to finalize issues with a guillotine choke. It was poetic justice for Diaz, who left the door open for an eventual UFC return throughout a post-fight interview through which he additionally gave like to Dana White. However it’s time for him to check his model on the open market, with a boxing superfight against Jake Paul the likely focus of newfound free company. 

2. Obese or not, Khamzat Chimaev is as scary as ever

It would take a while for Chimaev to rebuild the goodwill of the UFC fan base after what occurred this week, together with his professional wrestling heel flip in his post-fight interview. However the harmful method through which Chimaev ignored Kevin Holland’s try to the touch gloves at first of Spherical 1, solely to immediately take him down and start his execution, was an incredible begin. Chimaev went untouched in mauling Holland and forcing him to faucet by way of D’Arce choke just over two minutes in. The 180-pound catchweight bout was contested on the center floor between the welterweight and middleweight divisions, serving as a grim reminder that the native of Chechnya, Russia, stays a legit menace to each titles. Sure, Holland deserves credit score for his position in saving the cardboard by being keen to struggle Chimaev in a five-round bout, two days after the ultimate press convention was canceled because the two fighters brawled backstage. However Chimaev made him appear like he did not belong in the identical cage as him in a fashion so convincing that it does convey into query that the Gilbert Burns struggle in April was solely shut as a result of Chimaev allowed it to be by eschewing his gameplan with the intention to brawl and show his toughness. Will Chimaev’s mishap on the scales imply he must wait a bit longer for his first title shot as punishment? It is doable, particularly as a result of UFC might need fears the same weight situation may occur once more, solely worse, with the title at stake. However it’s simply as doubtless he fights the winner subsequent of a proposed Leon Edwards-Kamaru Usman trilogy bout for the welterweight crown regardless. 

3. Admit it, the final 48 hours of “MMA Twilight Zone” was intoxicating

The UFC is usually at its greatest when compelled to scramble, which is why this week’s loopy flip of occasions introduced again comparable reminiscences to struggle week fiascos from UFC 200 and UFC 223. However even in comparison with these unforgettable days main as much as struggle week, UFC 279 felt bizarrely distinctive unto itself. There wasn’t only a backstage brawl and a surprising failure on the scales. It was additionally about Diaz outslicking the UFC machine and an insane Friday afternoon that left followers and UFC brass alike compelled to play fantasy matchmaker when imagining find out how to forestall a catastrophe. Solely, UFC truly succeeded in enhancing the cardboard immensely just by swapping companions within the three greatest fights. With the pre-fight narratives altering so quickly, the sensation of pleasure that got here with it was addicting. That does not imply it wasn’t bizarre, particularly throughout the primary occasion when Diaz and Ferguson devolved in Spherical 3 to buying and selling antics involving turning their backs and threatening to stop. 

4. No good deed goes unrewarded for Li Jingliang

Of the six fighters compelled to modify opponents within the aftermath of Chimaev lacking weight, Jingliang was the one one who accepted a legitimately tougher struggle. Initially scheduled to face a pale Tony Ferguson, the native of China as a substitute welcomed fellow rising welterweight contender Daniel Rodriguez, and willingly did so although D-Rod would maintain a 10-pound weight benefit as a result of his unique struggle was set for a 180-pound catchweight. These near the fallout celebrated Jingliang’s willingness to struggle as the rationale the struggle card was saved. Visibly in the very best form of his profession, Jingliang then fought an extremely disciplined and good struggle to seemingly outpoint Rodriguez from distance solely to lose by way of disputed break up choice. This might’ve been the breakthrough second of Jingliang’s profession to date and proof of his development since a demonstrative loss to Chimaev. Thoughts you, this was the identical week Jingliang had shared an image on social media of the customized new swimsuit he had bought for Thursday’s press convention solely to see the occasion canceled following a backstage brawl between Holland and Chimaev. 

5. Chris Barnett is definitely your new favourite UFC fighter

The truth that “Beastboy” didn’t make the 265-pound heavyweight restrict earlier than the struggle (forfeiting a share of his purse) was lengthy forgotten by the point Barnett rallied to finish Jake Collier after a disastrous start. The celebration that adopted, that includes his signature entrance flip onto his rear, was nothing in comparison with the emotional promo he delivered straight after thanking the followers. Barnett is among the many most relatable fighters to ever step foot within the Octagon and his distinctive combination of charisma, toughness, humility and sneaky athleticism have made him a must-see folks hero. 

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