UFC star Khamzat Chimaev came in eight and a half pounds over the agreed weight for UFC 279.
Khamzat Chimaev was scheduled to compete against Nate Diaz in the headlining welterweight bout of UFC 279 tomorrow. Diaz was going into the bout to complete the last fight on his current deal with the promotion. He has been looking to explore free agency and announced the launch of his fight promotion company, Real Fight Inc.
At Friday morning weigh-ins, tensions were high in the room due to a concern about Chimaev not being able to make the agreed welterweight limit of 171 pounds. Diaz weighed in successfully at the limit, but Chimaev could not manage to do so as he came in just after an hour at 178.5 pounds, seven and a half pounds over the non-title fight limit.
Although he had 40 minutes left to try and shed off the pounds, Chimaev showed up to mark his official weight. He was given an additional hour to re-attempt.
Chimaev broke his silence on the matter with a cheeky tweet, pinning the blame on teammate Darren Till: “@darrentill2 It’s his fault.”
UFC 279 Presser Was Canceled Due to a Backstage Brawl
Things started heating up in the build-up to the event when Chimaev got into an altercation with Paulo Costa, who was working on his grappling chops with Diaz’s teammate Jake Shields, at the UFC Performance Institute. Chimaev reignited his feud with longtime rival Kevin Holland, also on the main card of the night on Sep. 10.
At Thursday’s pre-fight press conference, a scrap between the teams of Chimaev and Diaz forced company president Dana White to call off the presser for the first time in the history of the promotion.
“Yeah, this ain’t gonna happen,” White told the gathered media. “I apologize, everybody, I am in very weird waters here. This has never happened in the history of this company. Trust me when I tell you, this was the right decision not to do this press conference right now. I hear ya, I’m with ya but for everybody’s safety this is the right decision, alright, I apologize. Thanks for coming!” The crowd responded with boos.
MMA Community Reacts to the News
After Chimaev could not make weight, reactions came flooding in from the mixed martial arts community.
Former Strikeforce champion Shields, who recently crossed paths with Chimaev while training with middleweight Costa at the UFC Performance Institute, bashed “Borz” for trying to get into a fight with Costa for the cameras, and labeled him a “fake gangster.”
Shields tweeted, “Khamzat Spends all week acting tough starting fight with everyone then miss’s weight by 10lbs This clown should have focused on cutting weight instead of showing off for the cameras.”
Shields followed up: “Khamzat tried to retire after getting a cold so we shouldn’t be shocked he’s to mentally weak to make weight.”
Gilbert Burns wrote: “Dumba**.”
Derek Brunson weighed in on the incident, tweeting, “The Smash brothers are eating good ….178.5 for Chimaev. What an disaster #UFC279.”
Aleksandar Rakic proposed an alternate solution: “Here is how we will do it if the shit show continues: Main event Nate – Tony Co Main Chimaev – Holland catchweight Pay Leech and Rodriguez show+win+(+suit) Over and out.”