A Spectacle at UFC 279

Another Fantastic Weekend in Ultimate Fighting Championship

A Spectacle at UFC 279

2022 has been a wild year for the UFC. Retirements, insane fights, Internet legend Hasbulla being signed to the company, and UFC legend Anderson Silva fighting Jake Paul. September 10th’s UFC 279 event was no different. Changed main events and backstage chaos, as well as the exit of a star made this PPV one to remember. 


The scheduled main event bout was originally a welterweight (156 to 170 lb) fight between MMA legend Nick Diaz going up against the rising sensation from Sweden, Khamzat Chimaev. However, the weigh-in saw Chimaev miss weight by being 7.5 pounds over the limit. This led to a card shuffle that led to three new fights. Diaz would instead face Tony Ferguson in a welterweight bout in the new main event, Chimaev would face longtime rival Kevin Holland, and Holland and Ferguson’s former opponents, Li Jingliang and Daniel Rodriguez. Chimaev’s failure to make weight received criticism from several UFC officials including commentator Joe Rogan, bantamweight fighter Sean O’Malley, and Russian MMA legend Khabib Nurmagomedov. 


All was calm until the press conference. UFC owner Dana White revealed that a backstage altercation involving Chimaev, Holland, and Diaz and their teams occurred and the press conference would be canceled for safety reasons. According to Li Jingliang, the altercation was initiated when Holland and Khamzat began to fight as they came into the arena, Security separated the two but the melee was reignited when Diaz arrived. Several fighters and UFC officials had to separate the fighters. Many drew comparisons to the backstage melee that occurred following pro wrestling company All Elite Wrestling’s PPV earlier this month. The Nevada Athletic Commission is investigating the incident and plans to potentially discipline all involved. 


The event itself still went on. The main card opened with a shockingly quick light heavyweight bout as Brazilian fighter Johnny Walker defeated Moldovan fighter Ion Cutelaba by a rear naked choke submission 4 minutes and 37 seconds into the first round, boosting Walker to 11th in light heavyweight rankings. A gritty catchweight women’s fight between Irene Aldana and Mary Chiasson followed. Both women punished the other until Aldana delivered a knockout blow with a brutal kick directly into Chiasson’s torso in the 3rd round. 


Li Jingliang and David Rodriguez’s catchweight bout was next. The two fighters went the distance and Rodriguez won the fight by split decision, extending his winning streak to four. However many in the crowd believed Jingliang, known to fans as “The Leech”, should have been the winner, and booed the result.


Chimaev vs Holland came next. Holland did not land a single blow on his enemy as Chimaev overwhelmed him and slapped a D’arce choke onto Holland’s neck and forced him to tap 2 minutes and 13 seconds into the fight. Chimaev boldly got on the microphone and said he planned to become a champion in the middleweight and welterweight divisions. 


Diaz and Ferguson battered each other in the main event. They both exchanged powerful blows and the fight only ended when Diaz put Ferguson into a guillotine choke and forced him to submit. This marked the first submission victory for Diaz in six years and the fifth loss in a row for Ferguson. Diaz got on the microphone and announced he will leave UFC to pursue other martial arts, ending his twelve year tenure with the company


The UFC’s next event will be UFC Fight Night 210 on September 17. Two more fight night events will follow before UFC 280: Olivera vs Makhachev on October 22nd. You can watch UFC via pay per view, ESPN+ for the Fight Night events, Fite TV, and other streaming services.