In an unbelievable show of foreshadowing, the backstage dustup between Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland, finally turned the co-main occasion of the night for UFC 279. This was attributable to an unprecedented last-minute realignment of the combat card by UFC CEO, Dana White. Chimaev missed weight by nearly eight kilos, inflicting White to vary the primary occasion to Nate Diaz versus Tony Ferguson, with Chimaev and Holland being pitted towards each other in a combat that was scheduled to final 5 rounds. There’s so much to unpack right here; with out additional ado, let’s get into it!
Diaz vs. Ferguson
Nate Diaz has spent nearly all of his profession within the welterweight division. Tony Ferguson, then again, has ventured into the welterweight division sometimes, however has spent the majority of his profession at light-weight. Each males have been at a drawback heading into this combat as a result of they each spent their coaching camps getting ready for various fighters. Nevertheless, Diaz’s preparation for a extremely ranked fighter like Chimaev served him higher than Ferguson’s preparation for Li Jingliang.
Each fighters have been comparatively cautious at first of spherical one. Ferguson landed a few spectacular excessive kicks within the early parts of the spherical, whereas Diaz waited till the latter half of the spherical to attain with well-timed placing mixtures. In spherical two, Ferguson confirmed that he’s not only a kicker; he landed a pleasant placing mixture along with his palms that surprised Diaz early. Nevertheless, Diaz picked up steam within the second half of the spherical and landed a number of uppercuts that caught Ferguson off-guard.
In spherical three, the buildup of calf kicks by Ferguson began displaying seen injury on the suitable shin of Diaz. The swelling was noticeable and Diaz started strolling with a limp. Every subsequent calf kick by Ferguson resulted in wincing by Diaz as he grimaced in apparent ache. Nevertheless, Diaz stayed true to his popularity and fought by means of the ache admirably. He started touchdown punches with elevated regularity at first of spherical 4. Midway by means of the spherical, he executed a pleasant takedown and instantly established a front-facing guillotine chokehold. Unable to forestall Diaz from establishing a good grip beneath his neck, Ferguson was pressured to faucet out, giving Diaz an emphatic submission victory!
Chimaev vs. Holland
As a consequence of Khamzat Chimaev’s failure to make weight for his welterweight showdown with Nate Diaz, he and Kevin Holland have been scheduled for a catchweight bout at 180 kilos. Chimaev is an elite grappler with spectacular submission expertise; coming into a combat unprepared towards him is a nasty concept.
From the opening bell, Chimaev charged at Holland, with no regards for cardiovascular reservoirs. It was clear he wished to get this combat completed within the first spherical. He established relentless strain and secured an early takedown. Holland tried desperately to flee however Chimaev was capable of safe a good chokehold that Holland couldn’t maneuver away from. In the end Holland was pressured to faucet out within the first spherical.
If Holland got a full coaching camp to organize for Chimaev, it is extremely unlikely that this combat would have led to a primary spherical submission. There are some combating types that should be intentionally ready for as a result of they’re unorthodox. Chimaev’s methodology of charging out of the opening gate, altering ranges and going for the rapid grapple, is one thing a fighter should watch movie with a purpose to defend towards. Holland and his camp weren’t given an opportunity to do that. These two ought to have interaction in a rematch with a full coaching camp; that’s the one truthful method to decide how this matchup would unfold beneath regular circumstances.
Jingliang vs. Rodriguez
Out of all of the fighters who accepted the realigned combat card, Li Jingliang took the largest threat of all. As an alternative of combating Tony Ferguson, who got here in weighing 171 kilos, in a welterweight bout, he agreed to face Daniel Rodriguez in a catchweight bout of 180 kilos.
Every fighter gave the impression to be not sure of the way to strategy the opposite within the opening minutes of spherical one. Rodriguez scored utilizing some well-timed jabs that landed on the face on Jingliang and stored him at bay. Nevertheless, essentially the most spectacular second of the spherical got here close to the tip, when Jingliang used a facet kick to land on the rib cage of Rodriguez. The kick made a visual affect and will have secured the spherical for Jingliang.
In spherical two, Jingliang once more saved his most spectacular maneuver for the waning moments of the spherical. A left-handed jab that slipped by means of Rodriguez’s defenses made a transparent affect and left him visibly surprised. In spherical three, Rodriguez made nice use of his proper jab and scored persistently by slipping the protection of Jingliang, who was clearly extra snug with kicks than he was with strikes. This was a tricky combat to attain; all three rounds have been very shut. In the end, Rodriguez was awarded a cut up choice victory. These two fighters ought to each be applauded for accepting a brand new opponent simply someday earlier than the combat and being given no time to organize for them.
Aldana vs. Chiasson
Irene Aldana and Macy Chiasson every utilized calf kicks at first of spherical one to land scoring blows. Ultimately, Chiasson determined to extend the depth and go for a takedown, which she was capable of safe. Nevertheless, Aldana proved to be artful and instantly positioned Chiasson in an arm-bar that nearly ended the combat. She dominated the remainder of the spherical with floor management time.
Chiasson turned the tables in spherical two after avoiding one other submission try by Aldana. She was capable of acquire the dominant place on the mat after which pummel Aldana with a barrage of elbows. In spherical three, the early momentum stayed with Chiasson as she scored one more takedown. Nevertheless, as she stood up upon realizing she didn’t have the place to submit her opponent, Aldana landed a well-timed heel kick to Chiasson’s liver. The kick made an unbelievable affect and Chiasson instantly crumpled to the mat, unable to proceed. It was an emphatic third spherical knockout victory for Aldana!
Walker vs. Cutelaba
After shedding every of his final two matches, mild heavyweight challenger Johnny Walker wanted to return to his profitable methods with a purpose to reinsert his title into the elite class within the division. His opponent Ion Cutelaba was decided to forestall this from taking place; nonetheless, his technique might have backfired towards him.
After trying a excessive kick, Cutelaba resorted to utilizing takedowns to subdue Walker. He was capable of efficiently take Walker to the mat however underestimated Walker’s grappling expertise. His try and put Walker in an arm-bar was unsuccessful; Walker then fought to his toes and slammed Cutelaba with an emphatic physique slam. After a number of makes an attempt, Walker was capable of set up a rear bare chokehold and power Cutelaba to faucet out. Johnny Walker is now again within the win column and has re-entered the dialog amongst title contenders within the mild heavyweight division.
In his post-fight interview, Nate Diaz said that he was going to take a break from the UFC and go present his colleagues the way to “dominate one other sport.” He additionally added “Conor McGregor couldn’t do it.” This prompted Joe Rogan to ask “Are you speaking about boxing?” Diaz was non-committal and wouldn’t affirm which sport he was referring to. Nevertheless, boxing is the logical conclusion right here. McGregor infamously fought Floyd Mayweather again in 2017 and Diaz is also referred to as among the finest strikers within the welterweight division. At 37-years-old, it’s laborious to think about Diaz transitioning to a brand new sport and experiencing nice success but when anybody can do it, the feisty Nate Diaz can.
The UFC returns subsequent weekend with one other version of Battle Evening from The Apex Heart in Las Vegas. The principle occasion of the night will characteristic bantamweight veterans Cory Sandhagen and Music Yadong in a matchup you received’t need to miss. As all the time, we’ll have all the newest updates concerning the outcomes of the fights, in addition to in depth evaluation accessible proper right here at World in Sport!