UFC 279 Results, Highlights: Nate Diaz scores a late submission over Tony Ferguson in promotional bye.

Nothing about the UFC 279 main event was what it was supposed to be. None, that is, except for the fight between Nate Diaz and Tony Ferguson, who may have been the swan song of the always-defying Stockton, California, as he ended his UFC contract with a fourth-round submission victory.

Ferguson came out from the opening moments with a leg kick-heavy attack. One of the first kicks he threw in the fight caused his jaw to collide with Diaz’s, immediately leaving a cut on Ferguson’s jaw that continued to bleed until the end of the fight. Those kicks continued to land throughout the fight, leading to Diaz’s lead leg bruising and swelling.

Despite taking heavy damage, Diaz continued to chase down Ferguson, throwing combinations and hard left hands when he could close the distance or drive Ferguson back to the cage.

Even with Diaz winning, Ferguson continued to land hard leg kicks. In the end, Diaz seemed frustrated by the incoming damage and began to walk out of the cage, shaking his head as the referee demanded that he once again enter the fight.

Diaz would let his hands go further and tag Ferguson.

In the fourth round, Ferguson looked for a takedown, having called for a move in his corner in the previous two rounds. That decision turned out to be Ferguson’s undoing, as Diaz was quickly locked in a guillotine choke and pressed until Ferguson was forced to tap out at the 2:52 mark of the round.

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“Total wrestling camp,” Diaz explained after the fight, explaining his readiness to defend takedown attempts with chokes. “I didn’t box. So, we did it.”

Diaz, who made sure to look for opportunities outside the Octagon now that his contract is done, then spoke to the man he’s due to face in the main event, Kamchat Simaev. Simev badly missed weight on Friday, forcing the UFC to change three fights into three new match-ups.

“I was like, this is a bitch-ass rookie,” Diaz said. “I don’t even care about a bitch-ass rookie.”

The loss was Ferguson’s fifth in a row and his third in that stretch. The losing skid was a sharp contrast from his previous 12-fight winning streak and Ferguson became the interim lightweight champion while establishing himself as one of the sport’s elite 155-pounders.

Originally set to face Li Jingliang in a three-round debut in Ferguson’s welterweight debut, he accepted a switch to the five-round main event on Friday.

Diaz snapped his own two-fight losing skid and said he was willing to accept another bout, hinting at a desire to meet social media star Jake Ball in the ring after Ball fights UFC legend Anderson Silva in October.

“I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the UFC for as long as I’ve been with this f—ing company,” Diaz said. “But I love the UFC. … I want to step out of the UFC for a minute and show all these UFC fighters how to take over and own another sport. That’s how you have to do it. Conor McGregor doesn’t. Knows how to do it, this None of the other fighters know how to do that. I’m going to go out there, take a different career and become the best at it, show everybody that I’m the best at it, and then I’m going to be right — back to a mother — to get a UFC title.”

Elsewhere on the card, Diaz’s original opponent, Kamchat Simev, recalled his impending dominance with a first-round submission of Kevin Holland. Simev, who cut 7.5 pounds on Friday and reshuffled the entire card, was unapologetic in his post-fight interview and wants to fight for the next welterweight title.

CBS Sports was with you all Saturday to bring you all the results and highlights from UFC 279 below.

UFC 279 card and results

  • Nate Diaz def. Tony Ferguson via fourth-round submission (guillotine choke)
  • Comsat Simav Def. Kevin Holland First round via submission (d’arce choke)
  • Daniel Rodriguez def. Li Jingliang by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Irene Aldana dep. Macy Chiasson via third-round TKO (upkick)
  • Johnny Walker def. Ion Guttelaba via first-round submission (rear-naked choke)
  • Julian Erosa def. Unanimous decision with Hakeem Dao (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Jailton Almeida def. Anton Turkalj via first-round submission (rear-naked choke)
  • Denis Diuilleul def. Jamie Pickett via second round TKO (punches)
  • Chris Barnett def. Jack Collier via second round TKO (punches)
  • Norma Dumont def. Daniel Wolff via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
  • Alatengili def. Chad Anheliger via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Eliz Reade dep. Melissa Martinez via 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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