In what was arguably the craziest fight week in UFC history, UFC 279 was kept intact and the show did not disappoint. The main event was headlined by fan-favorites Nate Diaz and Tony Ferguson while the co-main event featured the grudge match between Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland. The main card was filled with finishes and impressive performances. Let's recap what took place at UFC 279, a fight-week fight fans will never forget.
The main event didn't disappoint as Nate Diaz defeats Tony Ferguson via submission in the fourth round. If this was the last fight Diaz has fought in the UFC, it was a memorable one. Not only did he get the victory, but it was also over an opponent that was a veteran and fan-favorite like Ferguson. The boxing of Diaz looked crisp all night. The 1-2 punch was money for Diaz as he clipped Ferguson multiple times. In the first round, Ferguson threw an inside leg kick and Diaz checked it perfectly. It opened up a cut on the shin of Ferguson as his left leg was covered in blood for the rest of the fight. As the fight went on, Ferguson found success in the low leg kicks and it was damaging Diaz. The boxing was the difference as Diaz would counter those leg kicks and land nice shots. In the fourth round, Ferguson landed a takedown but it presented the opportunity for Diaz to showcase his Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Diaz found an opening and got the guillotine choke for the submission win. In what was a crazy fight week for Nate Diaz with all of the changes last minute, Diaz gets the last laugh and victory in the main event of UFC 279.
After becoming a fan favorite over his last few fights, Khamzat Chimaev has become a "full heel" after missing weight. The fight week for Chimaev has not helped his star power but it did not matter when he stepped into the octagon. Chimaev was originally supposed to headline the main event against Nate Diaz but after the weight issues, the UFC scheduled Kevin Holland to headline the co-main event with Chimaev in a heated grudge match. As soon as the first round started, Chimaev shot in for a takedown and successfully landed it after a few scrambles with Holland. For a while, Holland was doing a great job in creating space in the ground and not absorbing much damage. Chimaev found an opening for a d'arce choke and sunk it in. Holland was doing everything he could to get out but eventually, the choke got tighter and he had no other choice but to tap. Chimaev absorbed zero strikes in the fight and got the clean victory over Holland. It is unclear on what Chimaev will do next but he is still a dangerous fight for anyone in the Welterweight or Middleweight division.
One of the three fights that shuffled was this one and it was a bizarre one. Li Jingliang was originally fighting Tony Ferguson at Welterweight but due to some issues with Khamzat Chimaev, Jingliang accepted the fight against Daniel Rodriguez. Rodriguez weighed in at 180 pounds because he was originally scheduled to fight Kevin Holland at the Catchweight limit. While Jingliang was about nine pounds lighter than Rodriguez, he still took the challenge. It was a very competitive fight for all three rounds. Jingliang landed some powerful body kicks as Rodriguez stuck with his nasty jabs on the outside. Rodriguez threw more volume throughout the fight but it appeared that Jingliang landed the more powerful shots. In the end, two out of the three judges gave the nod to Rodriguez as he earned the victory via split decision. Rodriguez has now won four consecutive fights and has all the momentum in his favor.
The first round was very interesting to start the fight as Irene Aldana and Macy Chiasson had some wild ground reversals. Chiasson attempted a takedown and Aldana did a perfect job in defending it and then being in position for an armbar with the scramble. It had appeared that Aldana had the armbar submission but Chiasson got out safely. The broadcast team had thought Chiasson had broken her arm because of how deep the submission was from Aldana. Nonetheless, Chiasson came out strong in the second round and landed an important takedown to keep things even heading into the third round. Chiasson landed another takedown to start round three but that is when things got riveting. As Aldana was getting Chiasson to get off from the top, Aldana threw an up-kick and her heel landed on the liver of Chiasson. There was an immediate reaction from Chiasson as she was standing up and then quickly went down. It seemed like the liver shot shut her down and the fight was stopped by Jason Herzog. Aldana scored the TKO victory and makes it back-to-back wins.
Johnny Walker defeats Ion Cutelaba in the first round via submission after a shaky start. To begin the fight, both men met in the middle of the octagon and immediately got after it. It didn't take long for Cutelaba to shoot in for a takedown as he had Walker on the bottom in no time. After a few elbows from Walker on the bottom, Cutelaba started to unleash some ground-and-pound and continue to make Walker uncomfortable. Walker makes an effort to get the fight back to its feet and then lands a takedown himself. Once Walker took the back of Cutelaba, it was the beginning of the end. The opportunity presented itself and Walker took advantage with a rear-naked choke submission win. This was an important fight for Walker and he capitalized on a big moment. Walker gets back into the win column as he looks to make another run in the Light Heavyweight division.