Dana White announces huge last-minute changes to UFC 279 main card after Khamzat Chimaev missed weight to throw whole event into chaos… as Tony Ferguson steps up to fight Nate Diaz in new co-headline slot
- Khamzat Chimaev weighed in over 7lbs heavy for his UFC fight with Nate Diaz
- Dana White announced a total of three changes to the card with 24 hours left
- Diaz will now fight Tony Ferguson instead, in the night’s biggest match-up
- Kevin Holland will fight Chimaev in the a heavier catchweight co-main event
UFC president Dana White has announced a historic reshuffling of the fight card for UFC 279, just 24 hours before the event is scheduled to take place.
The unprecedented changes come as a result of Khamzat Chimaev being seven and a half pounds over the weight limit for the original main event between him and Nate Diaz, when he weighed in earlier on Friday.
There will now be three new bouts, with Nate Diaz facing Tony Ferguson and Chimaev taking on Kevin Holland in the co-main event, while Li Jingliang also has a new opponent in Daniel Rodriguez – after originally being slated to fight Ferguson.
Nate Diaz will now face Tony Ferguson as part in the co-main event of UFC 279
Ferguson was originally set to fight Daniel Rodriguez before Dana White changed the card
Rodriguez had been originally set to face Holland before the last minute game of musical martial arts took place.
The new card is not lacking in storylines, as Holland and Chimaev reportedly got into a physical altercation on Thursday that led to the UFC 279 pre-fight press conference being abruptly canceled.
It also removes the controversy surrounding that fight after Diaz had no interest in fighting Chimaev, and wanted the fight with Ferguson the entire time as he tries to finish out the remaining number of fights on his UFC contract.
White was forced into some unprecedented last-minute changes after Chimaev missed weight
Chimaev smiled as he missed weight for his UFC 279 main event clash against Nate Diaz
‘They’re acting like I called for this fight, which I didn’t call for and don’t want and didn’t want and still don’t want,’ Diaz told ESPN. ‘But I don’t give a f***, I’ll fight anybody. But, [the] pressure is on him, he better finish me, because he’s the next killer in town.
‘This fight isn’t even about this guy… it’s about “making” this guy. And I’m like, “OK, you guys aren’t going to let me go? Because I’m the best fighter here? And you’re not gonna let me go unless it’s off of somebody? I gotta make somebody for you? Well, alright, you’re welcome. Let’s make you.” You’re welcome, UFC…’
The narrative of whether or not the UFC was trying to ‘feed’ one of its legendary names in Diaz to one of its hottest up-and-comers in Chimaev may no longer hang over this current card, but it remains to be seen if it will be revisited down the line.
Chimaev took to Twitter after failing to make the contracted limit, jokingly blaming training partner Darren Till for the miss