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The main-event comes in the Welterweight division, as Nate Diaz takes on Tony Ferguson. After being put on ice for over a year and wanting out of his contract, Diaz is one of the biggest winners of the card being shuffled. No longer being paired up against Chimaev, which was a nightmare matchup, Diaz was gifted with a comparable foe and undoubtedly more money to stay in the main event. Should Diaz prevail, he will pick up his first win since 2019. Meanwhile, despite dropping four consecutive fights, Ferguson finally gets his due in the UFC. Oddly, twelve straight victories didn’t do it, but instead Khamzat Chimaev missing weight badly did. Slotted in the main event and also earning more money in the process, one of the fan favorites in Ferguson will look to pick up his first victory since 2019.

The saviors of the card, Diaz and Ferguson is an excellent fight. Not only on paper, but for the fans, who have backed both men throughout their career. Diaz, who we might see for the last time in the octagon, is one of the realest fighters in mixed martial arts. An excellent boxer, Diaz is the epitome of a volume striker. Aided by his insane cardio, Diaz puts on a pace that often breaks fighters who oblige to stand with him. While grappling isn’t an issue for Diaz, nor fighting off his back, he often succumbs to takedowns by top notch wrestlers. Other than that, the only other flaws is his lack of wrestling and ability to check leg kicks. However, his durability is perhaps the best in the UFC and he’s usually unfazed by leg kicks.

Then there is Ferguson, who despite failing on hard times, looked pretty rejuvenated before being stopped by Michael Chandler. Known for his unpredictability, Ferguson will throw strikes from odd angles and can often be seen rolling for a leg lock. Backed by excellent cardio, Ferguson brings forth excellent volume and has often been problematic for foes as the fight wanes. With good grappling and a dangerous guard, Ferguson is often an uncomfortable fighter to face. Obviously father time has slowed him down and his durability has cracked, but with the move up to Welterweight, perhaps not cutting the extra fifteen pounds brings out the best in the former Interim Champion.

As for a prediction, I have Diaz winning. While Ferguson is coming in as a slight favorite, I’d argue that Diaz, who’s biggest enemy is his scar tissue, has several edges in this fight. For one, his durability is unmatched. Having yet been visited by father time, Diaz can endure punishment and continue coming forward. Ferguson on the other hand, has shown cracks in his once strength of durability. Throw in the fact that Ferguson is coming off a brutal knockout only four months ago, and I’m uncertain that he’s taken the time necessary to recover. Two, the last time Ferguson fought someone who is relentless and has excellent cardio was Gaethje – who isn’t Diaz, but there are similarities in which I could foresee showing it’s rear teeth in this fight. While I expect both men to have their moments, it’s hard to pick against someone who I know will be there for twenty-five minutes. So with that said, I predict that Diaz will win via TKO.

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