After months of pleading with the MMA leader to either grant his release of book him for his final contracted bout, Diaz arrived in Las Vegas last week set to share the Octagon with undefeated welterweight brute Khamzat Chimaev — a matchup that many described as a Diaz “assassination attempt” on the part of the UFC.
But one day before what appeared to be Diaz’s farewell, a weight miss from Chimaev forced the promotion to make alterations that saw the Stockton native instead matched with fellow fan-favorite veteran Tony Ferguson.
Diaz took advantage of the surprising turn of events, submitting “El Cucuy” via guillotine choke in the fourth round to exit the promotion off the back of a victory and with no damage to his stock.
Having consistently voiced his displeasure at the UFC’s decision to employ “Borz” to do what he perceived to be the organization’s dirty work — that being to send Diaz out of the promotion following a reputation-damaging mauling — renowned reporter Helwani believes that the “MMA gods” did admirable work at UFC 279…
Helwani: Diaz Beat The UFC
During a recent episode of The MMA Hour, Helwani addressed everything that went on during UFC 279 fight week and the pay-per-view event itself.
After crediting an otherworldly power for granting Diaz the fairy-tale ending to his UFC career that he deserved, Helwani insisted that the promotion’s intentions prior to the card alterations were “unfair.”
“I believe that the MMA gods were smiling down on Las Vegas, and I believe that the MMA gods wouldn’t allow what some powers were trying to make happen and were trying to force into reality,” Helwani said. “I believe the MMA gods wouldn’t allow that to happen; not this weekend, not to Nathan Diaz, not to a guy who has done things the right way throughout his entire MMA career.
“What was supposed to happen this weekend was not right, was not fair, and was not done in good faith… was not how a legend — a guy who has done thing the right way, represented the sport in a unique, honest, authentic way; was not how his chapter, journey, career potentially in the UFC was supposed to end,” Helwani added.
After further describing what he believes to have been unjust attempts to culminate the career of a legend in a devastating defeat — the kind Chimaev forced on Kevin Holland in the co-main event — Helwani described Diaz’s headlining triumph as “karma” for the UFC and “poetic justice” for Diaz.
“The business of the UFC is not to let a guy like Diaz get to that final fight… because there’s a sunset clause, they offer him the Khamzat Chimaev fight on the last possible PPV,” Helwani noted. “A fight that makes no sense rankings wise… We all felt weird about it. That’s not the way you treat a legend.
“(Ultimately), Diaz gets Tony Ferguson, which is the type of matchup he deserved in his final UFC fight from the beginning. That’s how you treat a legend… The fight (with Chimaev) wasn’t done in good faith. I don’t care what Dana says,” Helwani continued. “They wanted him to lose, and lose badly on his way out… What happened? The MMA gods said no… He ends up getting a win… He beat the UFC… If you don’t see the poetry in that, if you don’t see the karma in that, if you don’t see the poetic justice in that; I don’t know what to tell you… Poetic justice at its finest.”
Do you agree with Ariel Helwani’s take on Nate Diaz’s UFC 279 triumph?