UFC 279: Diaz Vs Ferguson was a turbulent flight to the main event. We had so many odd UFC firsts, from the press conference cancellation to the card reshuffle. It felt like the wildest roller coaster ride. But despite all the controversies, conspiracies and cover ups, at the end of the day, we got a fight card for legends, trash talkers, veterans and gangsters alike.
So without further ado let’s get into the picks and kicks of the UFC 279: Diaz Vs Ferguson.
Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson Versus Nate “209 Gangsta” Diaz
What an entertaining bout between two veterans. Both should have gotten this very matchup years ago. And we surely missed out on a lightweight trilogy between these two legends. Thank you UFC 279 better late than never for The Boogeyman to cross paths with the Real Gangsta Nate Diaz. In the later years of their career they’ve moved up to welterweight and fleshed out their styles both on and off screen. We however got to see a faded memory of these once young fighters. Muscles, strikes and strangles all seemed a few too many years out of time.
And what a way for Nathan to end a spectacular career. The promotion didn’t always give him the best of fights or the most consistent of opportunities but Nate Diaz showed up a war. And he delivered a Purple Heart Soldier’s performance.
Nate got the win and left the promotion in style. The entire Real Fight crew celebrated in the fourth round, with 2:09 minutes remaining on the clock as Nate Diaz locked in a guillotine on Tony Ferguson and flexed while doing it.
Tony Ferguson came in as a last minute replacement and showed why he is absolutely not out of the game yet. Don’t get me wrong, his performance was extremely lackluster and he kept giving his back in an attempt to evade a different style knockout puncher in Li Jingliang. The takedown attempt, shooting into the waist against a Gracie grappler. Even the spinning elbow combinations that would leave him exposed and were barely finding purchase. There were certainly things that could have been improved.
But we saw his stamina for three rounds for the first time in three years. We saw him gauging his own abilities and changing the pace. All the while being playful and entertaining. Making it a hell of a title fight. Callbacks to Nick Diaz lying down in the octagon vs Anderson Silva. Even more to how awkward Nick and Nate make their fights by pretending to be winded by their opponents. Everything Tony did in that fight, made the promotion look better, made him look more on form, and gave Nate’s time in the UFC a very Disney ending.
Khamzat “King Borz” Chimaev Versus Kevin “Trail-Blazer” Holland
Khamzat Chimaev Versus Kevin Holland was a firework masterpiece. Lots of unprofessional controversy and trash talking before the match but they managed to finally settle their disputes in the ring.
Though it was a quick and decisive match, we got to see so much skill from both fighters at the highest level. Khamzat showed why his wrestling is feared in Sweden and how deep those roots go.
Both fighters reluctantly touched gloves and referee Herb Dean started the match. As the round began, Kevin raised his arm in the air and Khamzat dove right in for the takedown on Kevin. He locked into a ruthless grapple-hold around his waist. In response Kevin performed a series of Granby roles to break the hold and escape. However faced absolutely no luck getting away from the beast in Khamzat. Shortly after Khamzat gave Kevin just enough room to squeeze into D’arce choke. Before all the fans and Kevin knew it. It was over. Holland tapped out in the first round at 2:13 to the Wolf. Khamzat Chimaev reigns supreme despite all the doubt and hate. He even answer a few questions in the post fight interview.
UFC 279: The RDX Pick:
Li “The Leech” Jingliang Versus Daniel “D Rod” Rodriguez
The Leech Versus D Rod was an expectedly slow match. Both these fighters had prepared for completely different opponents and the unique styles that they possess. Li Jingliang was ready for a close range fighter in Tony Ferguson and Daniel Rodriguez was prepared for a chaos war against Kevin Holland.
This match wasn’t free of controversy either as most everyone scored the match in favor of Li, including CEO Dana White. Despite this, “The Leech” was robbed of his victory by the judges despite putting on a more dominant performance in both round 1 and 2.
Saw Li Jing execute slips, kicks and jabs with extreme precision. On the other hand Daniel spent the round gauging the combos coming from Li. While trying to create his opportunities and landing infrequently. Rodriguez finally responded with a head kick that lands about as cleanly as one can, but Li didn’t budge even slightly. Li lands a serious leg kick putting Daniel on the ground and following up with another kick to the leg before the buzzer.
Rodriguez returns the favor with an opening leg kick. He continued the pressure while trading shots with Li. Both fighters did an amazing job throughout the round in maintaining distance and dodging upcoming punches. Rodriguez scores a left jab, and Li responds with a booming shot that knocks Rodriguez and appears to hurt him. “The Leech” grins and lets Rodriguez off the hook instead of giving chase, and Rodriguez backs him up to the wall with low kicks and jabs. He gets another takedown on Daniel but isn’t able to capitalize on it with the sound of the bell.
However favored D-Rod with better defense and aggression. He made decent counters and even better offensive shots throughout this round. His flurries seemed to really slow the pace of Li all the while scoring him points. Li also got decent body shots in this round but was much more passive throughout this round.
Both fighters fist bumped each other at the end of rounds and showed a whole lot of respect pre fight, during and even after when the scores were being announced. Everything you would want from two professional fighters.
RDX was extremely surprised with some of the changes made to UFC 279. From the card shuffle, to the gangster behind the scenes scuffles. Khamzat missing weight was another shocker, Tony becoming the main card a deserved surprise, Li being robbed from his victory an unfortunate oversight. All together culminating into a brilliant rollercoaster of a UFC 279 main-card. We at RDX would like to congratulate the brilliant performances by the amazing superstars and wish them all successful careers!