Welcome to news.com.au’s coverage of UFC 279 – and what a wild build up it’s been.
Khamzat Chimaev has proven to be one of the scariest men in the world, tapping out Kevin Holland in a brutal first round submission after a wild week.
Watch UFC 279: Chimaev v Diaz LIVE on Main Event available on Kayo & Foxtel, Sunday 11 September from 12pm AEST. ORDER NOW >
The main event between Chimaev and Nate Diaz was scrapped after the Swede was 3.4kg overweight at the weigh in – but putted against Holland at a catchweight it looked to be fireworks.
Chimaev immediately went for the kill, going straight into a clinch and after a few goes, choking out his rival and putting an end to their bitter feud with an exclamation mark.
Joe Rogan called the stunning performance “terrifying” as he finished it just 133 seconds into the fight.
“Say something,” Chimaev said after hijacking the microphone post-fight.
“So what now? This is Chechnya motherf****r.
“I’m the most dangerous guy here, I’m coming for everybody. I kill every body. Allahu Akbar.”
Asked about missing weight, Chimaev said: “I don’t care about that s**t man, I kill that guy. I’m going to go for everybody.”
He added his doctor stopped him from losing more weight, saying: “If I die, I die in the cage. I didn’t come here to make my weight and die in my bed. I die in my cage. I never leave the cage, it’s my home. I take everything from you guys.”
Chimaev said he believed he could have made the weight but was told by the doctor to take water and vitamins on, and he added he knew he wasn’t going to fight Diaz at that point.
Nate Diaz then claimed a fourth round win over Tony Ferguson, pulling off a guillotine submission after battering his rival.
Ferguson immediately started bleeding from the leg from the start of the fight and looked battered by the end of it.
It was his first submission finish since UFC 196 when he submitted Conor McGregor.
The fight was the last fight on Diaz’s contract after 15 years in the organisation.
Asked what he’s going to do next, Diaz said he wants to take over another sport, saying he would want look at boxing, kickboxing or any other MMA organisation and come back to win the UFC title.
UFC 279 card results
Nate Diaz defeated Tony Ferguson via submission (guillotine choke) at 2:52 of round 4
Khamzat Chimaev defeated Kevin Holland via submission (D’Arce choke) at 2:13 of round 1
Daniel Rodriguez defeated Li Jingliang via split decision (29-28×2, 28-29)
Macy Chiasson defeated Irene Aldana via TKO (strikes) at 2:21 of round 3
Johnny Walker defeated Ion Cutelaba via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:37 of round 1
Julian Erosa defeated Hakeem Dawodu via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jailton Almeida defeated Anton Turkalj via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:27 of round 1
Denis Tiuliulin defeated Jamie Pickett via TKO (strikes) at 4:52 of round 2
Chris Barnett defeated Jake Collier via TKO (strikes) at 2:24 of round 2
Norma Dumont defeated Danyelle Wolf via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Alatengheili defeated Chad Anheliger via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Elise Reed defeated Melissa Martinez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Yohan Lainesse defeated Darian Weeks via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
The commentators were left stunned after Macy Chiasson finished Irene Aldana with an upkick to the liver.
Laying on her back after Aldana took her to the ground, Chiasson landed the perfect kick with Aldana’s body shutting down as she fell to the canvas.
“I’ve never seen that before,” Joe Rogan said. “That just opens up a whole new angle to the game – never seen any body stopped by a heel kick to the liver.”
“Right to the liver, shut her off,” Daniel Cormier said.
It was just the third heel kick finish in UFC history.
Just when you thought you have seen it all! 🤯
Heel kick to the liver from the bottom for Chiasson.
— UFC_AUSNZ (@UFC_AUSNZ) September 11, 2022
The UFC 279 backstage drama has been revealed as the UFC posted video of the backstage antics which saw the press conference cancelled.
The video revealed that there were kicks thrown and Kevin Holland and Khamzat Chimaev had to be separated.
The pair have long been at odds after a clash at UFC Vegas 21 and continuing to fuel the drama via social media and media interviews.
“Say something now,” Chimaev said. “F*** you, b****.”
“You’re not about that f****** life, kid,” Holland replies. “You’re not about it.”
There were also reports from the day Nate Diaz’s team didn’t like what they saw in the drama and started throwing water bottles.
🔥 The unpredictable series of events surrounding #UFC279 🔥
— UFC (@ufc) September 10, 2022
The result was that after Chimaev missed weight by nearly 8 pounds, he will now fight Holland at catchweight and Diaz will fight Tony Ferguson in the main event.
But Conor McGregor joined the fray, tweeting: “My opinion they should have pulled khamzat from the card entirely.
“Reconfiguring bouts, and with a more favorable bout for the failed cutter, will only make many others in the game follow suit. The smirks on the scale where (sic) enough for me.
“Pull from the card and starve. McG UFC.”
Chris Barnett weighed in as the heaviest heavyweight in UFC history but has won over the UFC with a wonderful reaction to his monster victory over Jake Collier.
The outsider in the bout, Barnett claimed the win after a frantic brawl, reversing a takedown and getting on Collier’s back and raining down the punches until the ref finally waved it off.
The hulking beast then performed his signature celebration, a front flip landing on his butt as he couldn’t hold back his glee.
“Yo, they gonna say heavyweights, we gonna be out here throwing, we gonna be out here doing it,” Barnett said.
“Let me tell you right now – me and dudes like Jake, that’s what we do. That’s why we’re in this. We’re signed to the best organisation in the world, UFC. That’s what we are, that’s what we do. We come out here for y’all, and I love it.
“Thank you for the love and everything. This means the world to me, this means the world to me! I love you for real, I love you from the bottom of my heart, from the bottom of it. Thank you.
“We’re nothing without y’all, nothing. Stand up for yourselves, stand up for yourselves!”
Joe Rogan was clearly loving the interview, getting swept up in the big man’s personality.
Asked about his strategy, Barnett praised his opponent.
“Ok, I know fighters in their little pre-interviews, ‘we’re going to fight, we’re going to bang,’” Barnett said.
“When I felt him clinch, you’re a liar sir. But man, Jake, just a great dude, so glad I got to share the octagon with him. this is amazing.
“I’m a turtle shell. If I’m on your back, I’m staying there. Call me Michaelangelo, call me Leonardo, all of them.
“You go for the take-down, I’m a short guy, I had to move. I had to improve on my game. Every time I’m out here, I’m going to be better. It’s for y’all!”
Barnett kept dancing all the way out of the ring and then left the commentators in hysterics as he took two beers one his way back out to the locker rooms.
Chris Barnett leaves the Octagon the same way I leave class on the last day of the first semester of junior college. pic.twitter.com/Vtsn3M8mWl
— RJ Clifford (@RJcliffordMMA) September 11, 2022
Fans and fighter were loving what they saw.
Oh my God! What an insane comeback by Chris Barnett! That was absolutely insane! #UFC279
— Adam Martin (@MMAdamMartin) September 11, 2022
No matter what you say, Chris Barnett is a warrior and a fun entertainer 🤣.
Congrats man 👏🏾 #UFC279
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) September 11, 2022
imagine watching that Barnett comeback and then having to somehow digest four more hours of fights #UFC279
— Alexander K Lee (@AlexanderKLee) September 11, 2022