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Nate Diaz Earns Bonus Prize Money for Submission Win vs. Tony Ferguson at UFC 279

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 11, 2022

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Nate Diaz is exiting the UFC, but not before taking home one last performance bonus.

The veteran fighter won the Performance of the Night bonus for his fourth-round submission of Tony Ferguson in the main event of Saturday night's UFC 279, per Alexander K. Lee of MMA Fighting. That earned him $50,000 in bonus money.

It was the 16th bonus Diaz has earned for his performance in the Octagon. Only Donald Cerrone and Charles Oliveira, with 18 each, have earned more.

It concluded a wild week after Diaz's original opponent, Khamzat Chimaev, missed weight by 7.5 pounds. That left the UFC scrambling to salvage the card, eventually pairing Diaz with Ferguson and Chimaev with Kevin Holland, who he submitted in the first round

As for Diaz's next steps, his team said this week he was starting his own MMA promotion, Real Fight Inc.

"I wanna get out of the UFC for a minute, and show all of these UFC fighters how to take over, and own up another sport how you're supposed to do it," Diaz said in his post-fight interview. "Because Conor McGregor didn't know how to do it, and none of these other fighters know how to do it. So I'm gonna go out there, take over another profession and become the best at that, show everybody I'm the best at that. And then I'm gonna be right the f--k back here to get a motherf--king UFC title, the best title in the world."

UFC @ufc

Nate Diaz sounds off to close out <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFC279?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFC279</a>! <a href="https://t.co/S6eGlB77lM">pic.twitter.com/S6eGlB77lM</a>

The 37-year-old Diaz is one of the UFC's most popular fighters and has beaten some of the promotion's biggest names, including Donald Cerrone, McGregor—they split their two meetings—and Anthony Pettis. He also went into the Octagon against big names like Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards, though he lost those matchups.

As for UFC fighters who took their talents elsewhere, McGregor flirted with boxing, losing to Floyd Mayweather, while Brock Lesnar had his on-again, off-again relationship with the WWE. It remains to be seen what Diaz's next chapter holds, but his time in the UFC may not be completely over just yet.

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