Nate Diaz Makes its final appearance in the octagon yet Epic career UFC Saturday in the main event UFC 279 In Las Vegas against Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson. The two fan favorites finally face off in a welterweight battle next Shake an unprecedented turn of events the main card.
Diaz began his UFC career in 2007 on “The Ultimate Fighter” and compiled a 20-13 professional MMA record with 11 of those wins by submission. His biggest victory to date was his brief win in 2016 over Conor McGregor, who was racking up back-to-back wins at the featherweight and then the lightweight championship belts. The UFC’s first concurrent double chokehold champion catapulted the fighter from Stockton, California, to fame. He lost a rematch to McGregor later that year and a three-way fight has been talked about since, but failed to make it.
Since losing a majority decision to McGregor, Diaz has fought only three times: a win over Anthony Pettis and a TKO loss to Jorge Masvidal in 2019, then his unanimous loss to Leon Edwards in June 2021.
[UFC 279 result: Chris Barnett’s epic comeback, in-cage interview delights fans]
Ferguson, who first fought for the UFC in 2011, was scheduled to face Li Jingliang on Saturday in his first fight since. A devastating knockout loss for Michael Chandler in May. But after Shemayev’s 7.5-pound heavyweight punches for his scheduled match against Diaz at the head of the card, Ferguson was offered a main event spot against Diaz and was accepted.
Although Ferguson has a losing streak in four fights, the losses have been to Justin Gethje, Charles Oliveira, Benelle Darius and Chandler — all bona fide studs from the UFC’s stacked lightweight division. Before losses began to pile up, Ferguson was riding an incredible 12-fight winning streak in which he claimed the interim lightweight title, but he never really fought for the undisputed title.
Chemayev’s weight problem cost him the main event spotlight versus Diaz, but not a spot on the card as he now faces Kevin Holland in a weight match in the co-main event. The two were involved in a backstage argument at Wednesday’s press conference, so the fight makes sense.
Also on the main card, Jingliang will now fight Daniel Rodriguez, who was originally supposed to face Holland. Erin Aldana and Maisie Chiason meet in a 140-pound welterweight match, and Johnnie Walker and Eon Cotilapa open the pay-per-view.
Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports is the show cage side at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, so follow the live tracker below for all the latest updates and analysis.
UFC 279 live results, highlights, and analysis
UFC 279 main card odds, scores, highlights (starting time 10PM ET, ESPN + PPV)
Welterweight: Nate Diaz +130 vs Tony Ferguson -155
Catchweight (180 lbs): Khamzat Chimaev -600 vs. Kevin Holland +425
Catchweight (180 lbs): Li Jingliang +135 vs Daniel Rodriguez -165
Catchweight (140 lbs): Irene Aldana -170 vs. Missy Chiason +140
Light Heavyweight: Johnnie Walker +170 vs. Ion Quilapa -210
UFC 279 prelims odds, scores and features (Now live on ESPNEWS/ESPN+)
Gross Weight (149.5 lbs): Hakim Daoudo -215 vs Julian Erosa +175
Catchweight (220 lbs): Jailton Almeida def. Anton Trekalj presenting (naked rear throttle) in
Middleweight: Dennis Tulliolin def. Jimmy Beckett by TKO at 4:52 from R2
Gross Weight (267.5 lbs): Chris Barnett Dave. Jake Collier by TKO at 2:24 from R2:
UFC 279 Early Preliminary Full Results
Women’s featherweight: Norma Dumont-Dave. Daniel Wolfe by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Bantamui weight: Alateng Heili def. Chad Anhelliger by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Women’s Straw Weight: Elise Red Dave. Melissa Martinez by unanimous decision (29-28, 28-28, 29-28)
Lightweight: Johan Linnes defeated. Darian Weeks by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
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