Nate Diaz Closes UFC 279 With A Constricting Guillotine Choke On Tony Ferguson

Following an absolutely insane fight week, Nate Diaz has closed the book on UFC 279, in true Nate Diaz fashion.

The legendary matchup between two of MMA’s most popular competitors, Nate Diaz and Tony Ferguson, truly lived up to the hype that had built up surrounding the bout since it was announcement yesterday afternoon. Many felt this fight should have been made years ago, and are viewing Khamzat Chimaev’s weight cut issues that forced the card shuffle as a blessing in disguise. After the showing that just took place under the lights at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas earlier this evening, it is unlikely that anyone would disagree with that sentiment.

From the moment that Diaz began his walkout to “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones, there was electricity in the air. The whole crowd was on their feet, and no doubt had goosebumps from head to toe.

The first round started off with Ferguson leaning into some heavy leg kicks. Diaz was able to check one of these strikes perfectly, which resulted in a cut on Ferguson’s shin that began to pour blood. Unfazed, he continued loading up on the leg kicks, which paid dividends later in the fight. The most significant moment of the first round, that truly set the pace for things to come, was when Diaz cleanly landed his signature left cross set up by the slapping right hook. He then proceeded to point and smile at his opponent, a mannerism the Stockton native has become known for.

Throughout the second, Diaz continued chipping away, and Ferguson’s face was beginning to show it as blood began streaming from his eye. While Ferguson was able to display diverse striking by mixing body shots and elbows, Diaz continued to tag him with the left cross, then follow up by scoring combinations.

By the third round, the leg kicks were really starting to ware on Diaz. Ferguson would step in, land the damaging low kick, then retreat to safe distance. Out of frustration, Diaz began letting his guard down and walking away in an attempt to bait his opponent in. When Ferguson did not bite, Diaz began pressuring forward much more aggressively, landing strong shots and trying to close the distance. As Ferguson was not getting the best of the striking exchanges in the pocket, he did his best to circle away, utilize distance management, and continue to chip away at the legs.

As things moved into the championship rounds, Diaz realized that he could not take many more of the low kicks that Ferguson was delivering. He began pressuring forward much more eagerly than before, landing stiff shots, including a two-punch combo that sent his opponent stumbling back. Seeing Ferguson stumble gave Diaz a new level of momentum, and he began to hunt for the shot that would end the night. Ferguson continued to do a good job at managing the distance, in an attempt to not fall into any of Diaz’s traps, but every time his back was close to the cage he was eating punches as he tried to circle away.

With his back once again against the fence, Ferguson absorbed three more punches in succession, then dropped his level and shot the first takedown attempt of the fight. It seemed that Diaz was waiting for this takedown after disassembling his opponent through forward pressure and superior boxing, as he reacted quickly. As soon as they hit the floor of the octagon, Diaz grabbed Ferguson’s neck and began locking up the guillotine from the bottom position. With Ferguson’s head under his arm, Diaz wrapped one leg over his opponent’s back, connected his hands on the side of the neck, and secured the finish with the constricting choke.

Through this headliner bout, Diaz added the 21st victory to his 34 fight career, and secured his 14th stoppage by way of submission. Both Diaz and Ferguson would also receive fight of the night bonus payouts for the entertaining contest that they were able to produce.

During the post fight interview, Diaz discussed the love / hate relationship he has had with the UFC, but went on to explain that at the end of the day he loves the organization. He also showed his respect to the UFC brass for providing the platform and opportunities to fighters like himself.

Additionally, Diaz did announce that he would be stepping away from the UFC for the time being to explore opportunities in other combat sports, most likely boxing. But, he certainly made it clear that we have not seen the last of Nate Diaz inside the UFC octagon.

 

Official Result: Nate Diaz def. Tony Ferguson via Submission (Guillotine Choke) – Round 4, 2:52

 

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