LAS VEGAS — Nate Diaz put on a vintage performance Saturday in the main event of UFC 279 at T-Mobile Arena, submitting Tony Ferguson with a guillotine choke at 2:52 of the fourth round in the new main event.
Diaz left the door open for a return to the UFC, but said he plans to show fighters how to take on another sport.
“I want to come out of the UFC for a minute and show all these UFC fighters how to take over and own another sport how you’re supposed to do it,” Diaz said in the cage. “Conor McGregor didn’t know how to do it. None of these other fighters know how to do that. So I’m going to go out there, get another, another profession and become the best at it – show everybody that I’m the best at it.”
He said after that, he would consider a return to the UFC and seek a title shot.
He ended up fighting Ferguson after Khamzat Chimaev missed weight on Friday and the UFC was forced to change the final three bouts on the main card.
Chimaev was a -1200 favorite over Diaz, but when the fights were switched, Diaz closed as a lone +125 loser to Ferguson. Although Ferguson was a -150 favorite, there were six times as many tickets written on Diaz.
Diaz gave one of his typical performances. He boxed hard, spinning the cage, but had more success as the fight went on. He was opening up on Ferguson when the second round started and was hurting him by the time they got to the fourth.
Ferguson was bleeding from his right eye and had a large gash on his left leg.
Diaz’s legs showed the impact of Ferguson’s jabs, but Diaz was simply too handsy. Diaz clearly enjoyed facing Ferguson instead of Chimaev.
“It was nice to fight another OG and not [Chimaev’s] bitch ass,” Diaz said.
The crowd cheered Diaz hard throughout the fight, but erupted in celebration when Ferguson struck