After a disconcerting and historic fight week for UFC 279, the smoke has cleared. Originally slated to give us Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz, a weight loss from “Borz” would see Diaz, and none other than Tony Ferguson throw himself into the cage for the main event of UFC 279.
The first round started off at a brisk pace, with each fighter landing a few good shots as they felt. A wild spinning elbow from Tony Ferguson was only inches away from landing devastatingly the first minute of the fight, however, Diaz got out of harm’s way and the fight continued.
A large spouting wound opened up on Ferguson’s shin shortly after, but ‘El Cucuy’ continued undisturbed. Diaz’s boxing was in full effect, with ‘Mr. 209’ mixing in his patent combos weird looping Stockton slaps and hooks, and laser-like straight jabs and crosses.
As the rounds progressed, both fighters could be seen frustrated with the other’s odd fighting style. It was almost ironic that while Diaz’s match against Ferguson was arguably more compelling and competitive than Diaz’s match against Chimaev, it was also harder to prepare on such short notice.
Even with a full camp, solving the odd riddle that is Diaz and Ferguson’s weird fighting styles respectively would be no small task. It should come as no surprise, then, that the two men’s unconventional ways got discouraged during the fight.
End of an era and Tony Ferguson’s post-fight presser: ‘I’m still on top of the mountain’
Although his corner keeps pleading with him to go for a takedown, it would actually mean bad luck for ‘El Cucuy’. In round four, he would be caught in a guillotine choke and inevitably kick out. It was the end of an era for Nate Diaz, and for Tony Ferguson it would be his fifth straight loss.
At the UFC post-fight press conference, Tony Ferguson would address the losing streak:
“I’m still on top of the mountain” he started. “Are you happy that the sport is back in the world? Well say thank you then. You are fucking welcome.“
“When it comes to an L (a loss),“Ferguson continued. “It must fit into what has been put on the table (fights offered). Bringing sport back into the world, setting an example for these young people not to give up. Go in there and fuck it and take the next fight that’s on the rise.
“I’m gonna be real, I don’t see an L, I just see growth. The last four fights I’ve had before this one, I’m gonna be real, I was sandbag. I wasn’t really doing nothing. My wife called me. I found a good team, the most motley team we could muster and we made some noise.”
What’s next for Tony Ferguson?