On one of the craziest days in UFC history, the organization was forced to completely reorganize the entire UFC 279 card to organize three new fights at short notice.
In a sensational twist after yesterday’s backstage brawl at the UFC 279 press conference, main fighter and unbeaten star Khamzat Chimaev lost a whopping 7.5 pounds for his main event with Nate Diaz.
Chimaev laughed and said “not so bad” as he tipped the scales at 178.5 pounds, having been forced by medical personnel to stop losing weight due to health problems.
The main welterweight bout was later scrapped. The UFC was quick to reorganize the UFC 279 card at the last minute and ended up organizing three new fights, announcing them five hours after the weigh-ins.
Nate Diaz will fight fan-favorite comrade Tony Ferguson in five rounds. Chimaev will face Kevin Holland – after kicking him in the chest during yesterday’s press conference – in another five-round co-main event. Li Jingliang will now fight Daniel Rodriguez, who weighed 8.5 pounds more.
When the fighters first faced their new opponents al ceremonial weighed later, things exploded again in a series of savage, cursing invectives.
‘B **** * ss mother **** er’: UFC collapses as rivals explode after insane reshuffle
“It’s been a hell of a night and a hell of a morning here,” UFC boss Dana White began her announcement of the new card.
But, he added, “It literally couldn’t have worked better,” given the incredible new fights organized at the last minute.
Watch UFC 279: Diaz v Ferguson LIVE on the Main Event available on Kayo and Foxtel, Sunday 11th September from 12pm AEST. ORDER NOW>
PRESS CONFERENCE CHAOS
‘Absolute sex show’: UFC presser dropped as details emerge about what sparked a wild backstage brawl
“Gets very physical”: UFC star kicks rival in the chest, water bottles thrown as they reveal “crazy” details
At the weigh-in ceremonial, the fighters first faced their new opponents and, of course, things heated up again.
Holland said: “It all happened for a good reason. All these guys claiming to be gangsters. They are not gangsters. They make up for HD cameras. It’s that simple”.
Asked if Chimaev’s battle was a better fight for him, he replied: “F ** k no, but it will be fun!”
He yelled after his interview: “Thanks for making me rich, G!”
Chimaev earned huge boos from the crowd, giving them the middle finger on multiple occasions in a wild outburst. When asked about his failure to weight cut, he replied, “They (the doctors) stopped that shit. I don’t know, I wanted to cut that shit anymore.
As the crowd continued to roar in disapproval, he yelled, “Hey, these are Chechen motherfuckers. Shut up guys! I’ll piss your boyfriend off. I also fucked him backstage. Court!”
He added that he didn’t care about the opponent’s rally, stating: “I don’t care. I want to destroy everyone. I come here to fuck everyone. Now I’ll take care of it. “
Ferguson mimicked eating popcorn, before yelling, “Get your fucking popcorn and slush, motherfuckers. We’ll have some fun! “
Diaz said: “Tony has been around for a long time, we should have fought a long time ago.”
He compared Chimaev to retired star Khabib Nurmagomedov, saying, “Khabib * ss’ bitch was afraid of him. Just like this whore * ss mother **** er was scared of me yesterday.
“We pumped his ass back here, now he’s not getting fat, you know what I’m saying?
Apparently responding to Chimaev’s phrase about Chechnya, Diaz roared: “The real G’s are from California, America, mother of a bitch.”
THE NEW PAPER
White announced that Diaz will fight Tony Ferguson instead in a five-round welterweight main event, with the popular Ferguson being set for his 170-pound debut against Li Jingliang.
Jingliang and Ferguson successfully gained weight at 170.5 and 171 pounds respectively, while Diaz came in at 171 pounds, just with the one pound allowance.
The UFC was in talks for Diaz to fight the former lightweight champion and No. 2 lightweight Dustin Poirier, who tweeted a photo of himself on a personal scale weighing 176.6 pounds, with reports stating that he had agreed to fly for a belated catchweight bout.
But White instead managed to convince Tony Ferguson and Nate Diaz to accept a deal to fight as the main fight.
Undefeated Chimaev will instead fight (23-7) Kevin Holland at a variable weight of 180 pounds, with the Netherlands weighing 179.5 pounds for his intended bout against Daniel Rodriguez (already set for a variable weight of 180 pounds).
Chimaev and Holland have a lot of history, until yesterday Chimaev kicked the American in the chest. The fight will be a five-round co-main event.
Chimaev, as usual, was given an extra hour to try to gain weight but he didn’t try as he was far from the limit. White stated that Chimaev had suffered from cramps due to his weight loss and was ordered by a doctor not to continue losing weight, leading to significant lack of him.
Rodriguez will now fight Li Jingliang (also weighing 180 pounds), despite Rodriguez weighing over eight pounds more at 179 pounds to Jingliang’s 170.5.
Two other fighters also lost weight, featherweight Hakeem Dawodu, who overcame the limit at 149.5lbs, and heavyweight Chris Barnett, who missed the limit at 267.5lbs.
Barnett becomes only the second-ever UFC fighter to cross the heavyweight limit, joining Justin Tafa.
“What a complete and utter disaster,” tweeted USA Today’s Mike Bohn after Chimaev’s missed cut. “Here, too, smiling and shaking off doesn’t help Khamzat’s cause.”
NEW UFC 279 CARD
Nate Diaz vs. Tony Ferguson (welterweight)
Khamzat Chimaev v Kevin Holland (180 lbs load)
Li Jingliang vs.Daniel Rodriguez (variable weight 180 lbs)
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