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Nate Diaz And the true Winners and Losers from UFC 279

Lyle Fitzsimmons@@fitzbitzTwitter LogoFeatured Columnist IIISeptember 11, 2022

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    AP Photo/John Locher

    Think you’d a hectic week?

    It had been probably nothing in comparison to Dana White’s.

    The UFC czar saw his monthly pay-per-view show turned ugly at the final possible moment on Friday when would-be main eventer Khamzat Chimaev missed weight and necessitated fighter swaps in each one of the card’s top three bouts.

    Chimaev’s original opponent, Nate Diaz, instead finished up in the primary event against veteran lightweight-turned-welterweight Tony Ferguson, while Chimaev dropped to the No. 2 slot against Kevin Holland. The foes initially penciled set for Ferguson and HollandLi Jingliang and Daniel Rodriguezwere compared to one another in bout No. 3.

    The complete 13-bout show was broadcast live by ESPN+ having an announcing team of Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier and Joe Rogan, while Megan Olivi worked the area with feature pieces and breaking news. The B/R combat team was set up aswell to compile the definitive set of the winners and losers from the tumultuous Saturday night in NEVADA.

    Scroll to see what we developed, and drop a thought or two in the comments.

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    Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

    Neither Diaz nor Ferguson will probably become world champions.

    But it doesn’t mean, despite having both a couple of years from age 40, they couldn’t come up with a compelling albeit hastily arranged battle in to the main-event rounds before an adoring crowd.

    The aging lightweights turned welterweights traded kicks, punches, and occasionally curious gestures through three rounds before Diaz turned a Ferguson takedown attempt right into a guillotine choke finish at 2: 52 of Round 4 atop the UFC 279 show in the Nevada desert.

    It came within the last fight of Diaz’s existing contract with the business, and he suggested afterward it’d be his last for the moment as he moves forward with plans to change gears and dominate “another sport.”

    He never specified what sport it’d be, but Diaz has been linked to a possible crossover showdown with social media marketing star-turned-boxer Jake Paul.

    “I’ll venture out there, dominate another profession and be the very best at that,” he said. “Then I’m going to be right the f–k back again to get yourself a UFC title.”

    He and Ferguson were relatively even across 15 minutes of unique combat prior to the end came in the fourth carrying out a prolonged barrage of Diaz punches that had Ferguson reeling across the fence.

    Ferguson made a decision to charge set for a takedown and got Diaz to the mat, but Diaz wrapped his left arm under Ferguson’s throat along the way and cinched in the submission attempt along with his right.

    The victory by tap was the 10th of Diaz’s career, giving him sole possession of fourth invest UFC history, and the initial since he choked out Conor McGregor in 2016.

    It had been his first victory since 2019 after consecutive losses, also it was a fifth straight loss for Ferguson, who’s also not won since 2019 and suffered two KOs, two shutout decisions and today a surrender since.

    “That s–t was fun,” said Ferguson, whose left calf was bloodied after Diaz checked a leg kick and whose right eye was gashed by way of a Diaz punch. A brilliant fight is everything you wanted and everything you got.

    “Four rounds of carnage.”

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    Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

    It’s a lot like old-school wrestling.

    Chimaev has succeeded during the past as a hero. And Saturday night, he thrived as a villain.

    The Swedish-based menace missed weight by a few pounds on Friday and was booed heavily by the T-Mobile Arena crowd due to it. However, he still handled his business in rapid-fire fashion with a first-round submission of new opponent Holland in only a lot more than two minutes in the co-main event.

    “I’m probably the most dangerous guy here. I’m coming for everybody,” Chimaev said. “I’ll kill everyone.”

    He certainly looked the part against Holland, with whom he was involved with a backstage fracas that resulted in the cancelation of a Thursday afternoon press conference.

    The unbeaten supernovacharged over the cage and had Holland on the mat within five seconds andnever let him up, grinding him backwards and forwards over the mat before chasing a DArcechoke and ultimately securing it to draw the surrender at 2: 13.

    “Attacking like this is merely knowing the guy does not have anything for you personally,” Cormier said, “and that is terrifying. He took him down and managed to get look like he previously no idea what he was doing.”

    Chimaev is ranked third in the UFC at 170 pounds and claimed he’d pursue both welterweight and middleweight belts.

    “I’ll get both belts,” he said. “I’ll beat both guys and take the titles back with me.”

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    Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

    Irene Aldanawas in a negative, bad way.

    She was coming off another round where she was removed and battered for some of five straight minutes and found herself flat on her behalf back once more because the third round began against a momentum-fueled Macy Chiasson.

    And shechanged the fight. As well as perhaps the activity.

    Aldana drove a difficult heel kick in to the right side of a standing Chiasson’s body, instantly dropping her to her knees and rendering her struggling to continue as referee Jason Herzog and the broadcast team were left in stunned silence.

    It had been just the 3rd upkick stoppage in UFC history and the first ever to a victim’s body.

    The finish officially came at 2: 21 of the 3rd.

    “She could have changed the activity,” Cormier said. “We might note that as a technique now.”

    Aldana had dominated the initial round with superior striking and nearly got a submission win having an armbar, but Chiasson quickly recovered with these domination in the next.

    “We train all sorts of technique, crazy and practical,” Aldana said. “It came up huge tonight.”

    The fight was contested at a 140-pound catchweight after Chiasson had problems with her weight cut. Aldana entered your day No. 4 at 135 pounds, while Chiasson was six spots behind at No. 10.

    “It had been challenging to fight at that weight. She was very heavy,” Aldana said.

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    Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

    Welcome back tothe big style, Johnny Walker.

    The charismatic 6’6′ Brazilian was among the UFC’s rising stars upon graduating from Dana White’s Contender Series and beginning his octagonal career with three straight first-round finishes.

    Nonetheless it all fizzled quickly, sufficient reason for four losses in five subsequent fightsincluding two first-round KOs and two wide decisionsthe one-time prospect had veered perilously near suspect.

    And given the one-sided, grinding nature of the initial two minutes against Ion Cutelaba on Saturday, it wasn’t looking far better.

    But Walker could spin out and move on to his feet by the midway point of the initial round and quickly took Cutelaba down with a slam, then spent another two minutes chasing submissions before finally locking in the rear-naked choke that ended things at 4: 37.

    It had been Walker’s 19th win in 26 career fights as an expert, but just his third submission win and first since a guillotine choke win in 2017. He’s won 15 times by KO.

    “I’m improving,” he said. “I would like to finish guys on the floor rather than just knocking them out.

    “It’s about two words: commitment and consistency. Without commitment, you may never start, and without consistency, you may never finish.”

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    Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

    Betting the prelims is never a precise science.

    The fighters routinely have lower profiles than their main-card contemporaries, this means those of a speculative mindset should do their homework to build up.

    However the prospect of profit was there on Saturday night.

    Riding the underdog train through eight fights on early prelim/prelim cards was a confident venture, because of five victories for B-side fighters that yielded a standard gain of $600.

    Bets on all eight favorites could have incurred a $780 loss.

    Charismatic heavyweight Chris Barnett was the largest high-risk, high-reward proposition, returning $415 on a $100 bet because of his stirring rally for a TKO against Jake Collier.

    Joining him contrary to the chalk were strawweight Elise Reed, who went off at +145 for a scorecard defeat of Melissa Martinez; middleweight Denis Tiuliulin, who stopped Jamie Pickett in Round 2 as a +110 underdog; welterweight Yohan Lainesse, whose -105 billing was slightly significantly less than the -115 billing of Darian Weeks before his split-decision win; and featherweight Julian Erosa, who was simply +175 before a scorecard defeat of Hakeem Dawodu.

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    Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

    It could be a KO. It could be a submission.

    But a very important factor is for certain about Jailton Almeida’s fights: They don’t really last long.

    The rising Brazilian star picked his 13th first-round finish in 17 professional wins, quickly taking down late substitute Anton Turkalj before battering him on the mat and cinching in a fight-ending choke after just 4: 27 of the opening session.

    The 31-year-old is 17-2 overall and 3-0 in the UFC since a victory on Dana White’s Contender Series this past year. He’d debuted with the promotion as a light heavyweight but met Turkalj at a 220-pound catchweight and said afterward he planned to fight at heavyweight.

    All 17 of his wins have ended in two rounds or fewer with six KOs and 11 submissions. The rear-naked choke against a previously unbeaten Turkalj was his ninth win by that method.

    He took Turkalj down in the initial 30 seconds and controlled position throughout, switching between barrages of punches and quest for submissions. The finish came whenever a prone Turkalj turned and blocked punches along with his hands and arms, leaving an opening for Almeida to sneak his right arm around his foe’s throat and obtain a tap within 10 seconds.

    “He’s so patient and technical, and he’s this exciting contender in a talent-rich division,” Rogan said.

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    Let’s face it, Chris Barnett doesn’t look the part.

    He’s more Michelin Man than muscle man and became just the next UFC heavyweight to miss weight when he scaled in at 267.5 pounds for an initial bout with Jake Collier.

    Nonetheless it clearly had not been concerning the Spaniard’s looks.

    Barnett’s left eye was cut and swollen and his jaw appeared disfigured following a brutal first round, but he survived both combat and a trip from the cage-side physician to rally for a second-round finish of his Missouri-based opponent to the delight of a still half-full building.

    “Me and dudes like Jake, that’s what we do. That is why we’re in this,” Barnett said. “We turn out here for you personally all and I really like it. This implies the world if you ask me.”

    Collier began the next round seeking to continue his barrage, however the momentum turned when Barnett stuffed a takedown attempt and quickly scrambled to Collier’s back. He unloaded with a torrent of lefts and rights as Collier squirmed to survive, but eventually had landed enough shots without answer force the hand of referee Mark Smith at 2: 24.

    Barnett celebrated the win with a front flip that ended with him flat on his back, but giddy.

    “I’m a turtle shell,” Barnett said. “You i want to get your back and I’m staying there.”

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    Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

    Considering that just about any moment of two rounds had can be found in stand-up positions, you’d have thought Danyelle Wolf, a multi-time amateur boxing champion, was faring well.

    You’d have thought wrong.

    Though taller and longer than opponent Norma Dumont, the 39-year-old was on the short end of the striking battle across 10 minutes and ultimately battered on the mat through the ultimate five while dropping a broad decision by shutout scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 20-26.

    “She’s an excellent boxer, but I’m also an excellent striker and I needed to be sure I brought that out,” said Dumont, who arrived to the featherweight bout because the UFC’s 15th-ranked bantamweight. “I’m really proud that I struck in the same way hard as a high-level boxer.”

    Indeed, Wolf had won national ring titles in 2013, 2014 and 2015 but transitioned full-time to mixed fighting techinques after not getting a chance to fight in the Olympics.

    She debuted as a specialist with a victory on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2020 and was subsequently awarded a contract, but was dropped twice in Round 2 against Dumont, like the second time by way of a hard right hand that left her flat on her behalf back.

    Dumont got things back again to the ground early in the ultimate round and pummeled her throughout, leaving Wolf’s right eye swollen and her nose bloodied by the ultimate buzzer.

    “I needed to instruct her something that’s called jiu-jitsu,” Dumont said.

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    Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

    Main Card

    Nate Diaz def. Tony Ferguson by submission (guillotine choke), 2: 52, Round 4

    Khamzat Chimaev def. Kevin Holland by submission (D’Arce choke), 2: 13, Round 1

    Daniel Rodriguez def. Li Jingliang by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

    Irene Aldana def. Macy Chiasson by KO (kick), 2: 21, Round 3

    Johnny Walker def. Ion Cutelaba by submission (rear-naked choke), 4: 37, Round 1

    Preliminary Card

    Julian Erosa def. Hakeem Dawodu by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

    Jailton Almeida def. Anton Turkalj by submission (rear-naked choke), 4: 27, Round 1

    Denis Tiuliulin def. Jamie Pickett by TKO (punches), 4: 52, Round 2

    Chris Barnett def. Jake Collier by TKO (punches), 2: 24, Round 2

    Early Preliminary Card

    Norma Dumont def. Danyelle Wolf by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

    Alatengheili def. Chad Anheliger by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

    Elise Reed def. Melissa Martinez by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

    Yohan Lainesse def. Darian Weeks by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

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