Diaz was scheduled to take on Chimaev in what could be his final outing under the banner in the headlining match of UFC 279 on Saturday, Sep. 10, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. At official weigh-ins this past Friday morning, Diaz made the nontitle fight limit of 171 pounds, but Chimaev ended up missing weight by over seven and a half pounds, coming in at 178.5 pounds.
Chimaev’s massive miss threw a monkey wrench in the promotion’s plans, leaving company president Dana White scrambling with his team to save the pay-per-view event. UFC Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell played a crucial role in negotiating with the fighters on the card, managing to shuffle three bouts with a switch in opponents.
During the evening’s ceremonial weigh-ins, Chimaev faced off against longtime rival Kevin Holland ahead of their catchweight outing. “Borz” walked out to a loud razz from the fans in attendance and did not seem to care as he yelled profanely and threw up his middle fingers.
“Khamzat, the obvious question, first of all, is about the weight. How did you miss weight by that much?” UFC color commentator Joe Rogan asked.
“Chechnya motherf******! Shut up, guys! I’ll f*** your boy up, I’ll f**k him backstage as well,” Chimaev yelled to a booing crowd.
Chimaev & Holland Will Get To Settle Their Differences at UFC 279
Chimaev and Holland share a fierce rivalry dating back to 2021 when the two got into a brief scuffle inside a hotel lobby and needed security to separate them. Holland reportedly ‘got a boot in the chest’ from “Borz” before the pre-fight press conference on Thursday. Dana White called off the presser after the brawl escalated and Diaz’s team got involved.
During the build-up, “Trailblazer” labeled Chimaev a ‘fake gangster’ following an altercation between the Chechen-born Swede and Paulo Costa at the UFC Performance Institute. Chimaev was charged up at the face-offs and tried to intimidate Holland, who continued to bash him for pretending to be ‘street’ in front of the cameras.
“Who is going to help you now?” said Chimaev.
“We’re going to find out,” Holland replied. “The whole world is going to find out.”
White Explained Why Chimaev Missed Weight
The news of Chimaev failing to make weight sent the community into a meltdown and left unsure if the event would even happen. White went live on Instagram to explain exactly what went on behind the scenes.
“So, what happened was he was cutting weight,” White said via BJPenn.com. “If you saw him yesterday, he was very lean already and he should’ve come in on weight. He started to cut weight and you know, he started locking up and cramping. All things that happen from a bad cut.”
Dana White continued, “Unlike ten years ago, when we were doing this, we call and send a doctor up and he determines if he should keep cutting weight or not. The doctor told him he shouldn’t. So, we jumped on [saving this card] this morning.”