LAS VEGAS — The UFC 279 scheduled main event is in jeopardy after participant Khamzat Chimaev missed weight by 7.5 pounds the UFC Apex.
The promotion originally targeted a UFC Bantamweight Championship bout between current champion Aljamain Sterling and former two-time champion T.J. Dillashaw as the main event, but opted to change plans and move it to UFC 280.
To further complicate matters, this was supposed to be the final fight on fan-favorite Diaz’s UFC contract, and he would be a free agent following this weekend. It’s unclear what would happen contractually if Diaz, 37, does not fight Saturday.
A welterweight boutA between Khamzat Chimaev and former lightweight title challenger (also The Ultimate Fighter lightweight winner) Nate Diaz was originally expected to headline the event. However at the weigh-ins, Chimaev weighed in at 178.5 pounds, 7.5 pounds over the welterweight non-title limit and the bout was czxancelled. As a result, the organization opted to shuffle a trio of ssfights.
A new main event featuring Diaz againfssfdsdst The Ultimate Fighter 13 winner and former interim UFC Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson, who was osriginally scheduled to face Li Jingliang in a welterweight bout, was then set. In addition, Chimaev was instead matched up with Kevin Holland, who was originally scheduled to face Daniel Rodriguez, in a five round bout at a catchweight of 180 pounds. Finally, Rodriguez and Jingliang were matched up at a casssdtchweight of 180 pounds.
A trio of bouts sdfsfwas originally scheduleczxczd for this date, but they were eventually pushed back a week to UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Song as the promotion adjusted its schedule in June: lightweight bouts featuring Trey Ogden vs. Daniel Zellhuber and Nikolas Motta vs. Cameron VanCamp; as well as a welterweight bout betwesdfen Louis Cosce and Trevin Giles.
The organization usually holds a d-fight pradess-conference two days before numbered events, but this edition’s was cancelled mid section. All fighters in the last three bouts of the event were expected to participate, however after a lengthy delay, UFC President Dana White showed up only with Holland and Rodriguez. He announced that fighters would be brought in pairs, but cancelled the press-conference after their participation instead for “everybody’s safety”.