Disaster has struck for the main event of UFC 279. Earlier today, rumors starting coming out regarding weight issues with Khamzat Chimaev (11-0). Chimaev is a very big welterweight and he normally struggles with his weight cuts.
However, to this point in his UFC career, he’s never missed weight. Rumors were circulating that he was pretty far off in terms of his overall weight, but there was no confirmation from anyone. Then, Ariel Helwani reported that Chimaev was 8-10 pounds off the welterweight limit.
Quietly behind the scenes, the UFC had been working on alternate plans due to the weight issues of Chimaev. Nate Diaz (20-13) still weighed in and did his job. Chimaev ultimately was pulled from the main event after coming in at 178.5 pounds.
With the giant weight in miss, the promotion has shifted things around on the main card. Dana White announced that the new main event of UFC 279 is Nate Diaz – Tony Ferguson. Khamzat Chimaev will now be fighting in the co-main event against Kevin Holland. Both fights will be five rounds.
Updated UFC 279 Card
There had been a lot of backstage beef between Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland. Now, we are going to get to see that bout although it’s not the fight anyone was anticipating. In a weird way, the biggest winner of this whole situation is Nate Diaz.
Tony Ferguson was an opponent that Nate Diaz had in mind for his final UFC bout. However, the promotion refused to make that fight happen. They seemingly wanted Diaz to have the toughest fight possible which is why they gave him Chimaev in the first place.
Now, after this gaffe from Chimaev, Diaz is getting the fight he wanted all along with Tony Ferguson. Overall, I think this is better all the way around. Diaz – Ferguson is a fight fans wanted to see for a long time and we get to see personal beef settled with Chimaev and Holland.
Have to feel for Li Jingliang who now falls out of the co-main event and gets a fight with Daniel Rodriguez. Tons of shifting around and he seems to be the biggest loser out of everyone. Nevertheless, UFC 279 will move forward just looking drastically different than it did just hours ago.