Chimaev was scheduled to face Diaz in tonight’s headlining bout, but the Chechen-born Swede fumbled the bag, coming in at 178.5 pounds, a massive seven and a half pounds overweight for the agreed weight limit. Diaz tipped the scales at 171 pounds and was cleared to go ahead. However, Chimaev’s weight miss put the pay-per-view event at risk of collapsing without a main event contender for Diaz.
Kevin Holland and Tony Ferguson stepped up to the task of saving the card along with Li Jingliang, who had no problems accepting an opponent 10 pounds heavier than him on a day’s notice. Holland got matched up with Chimaev for a catchweight bout, serving as the new co-main event of the night, whereas Ferguson got paired with the Stockton-based veteran for the main event.
During Friday night’s ESPN weigh-in show, Diaz shared his thoughts on getting a new opponent and stated that “Borz” was no longer undefeated.
“I don’t like that no more, getting into fights with people that I don’t appreciate, that don’t deserve, who haven’t put in the time,” Diaz said via MMA Fighting. “So at least I’m dealing with somebody right now who’s been through it,” Diaz said. “And if it is my last fight here, which I don’t really plan on it being, at least it’s with a veteran and somebody who’s respectable.
“So whatever happens, happens. But I’m glad I just beat that little b****.”
Diaz Bashed ‘Little-Leaguer’ Chimaev
Diaz had argued against the validity of competing against the up-and-coming prospect for what could be his final outing under the banner. He goes into the final bout of his current deal with the UFC and has not indicated any plans to re-sign in the near future.
Following the announcement of the new fight, Diaz bashed Chimaev and revealed that he wanted to brawl with him outside of the octagon.
“And this guy is a little-leaguer, bro. Straight up, a little-leaguer playing in the major leagues. And he felt I didn’t belong? I’ll never fight him in here, but I’ll fight him right now if I could f****** find his b**** ass here anyway.”
Diaz Says Chimaev Was Scared of Fighting Him
Diaz expressed his appreciation for Ferguson, a grizzled veteran of the sport, and claimed that “Borz” did not want to fight him.
“It’s all a mess. It’s f****** irritating,” Diaz said. “I trained for Khamzat. I don’t even know how to fight this guy. I’m going to watch some video, but s***, it don’t matter anyway because I train for everybody always anyway. I don’t train for fights anymore, I just train to fight everybody always, ready for war. It for sure makes me happy though that I’m not supporting the bulls*** that they’ve [the UFC] been trying to push on me the whole time.
“Scared. That f****** fool is scared,” Diaz said. “At least I don’t have to deal with this, so that’s 1-0 on [Chimaev]. So if I can get through this dude tomorrow, then that’s 2-0 for the weekend. So this is 2-for-1.”