Dana White and co have managed to turn a disastrous situation into an incredibly profitable one by shuffling around the lineup for UFC 279 and coming out with a main event fight between Nate Diaz and Tony Ferguson. Originally, Diaz was scheduled to compete against up-and-coming talent Khamzat Chimaev in a welterweight fight that was going to be the last of his current contract. It seemed like yet another case of the UFC forcing aging stars to go out on their sword and using their legacy to help propel the next generation of stars to the top and naturally, some fans weren’t happy with the matchmaking.
At the same event, Tony Ferguson was also due to take on Kevin Holland in another fight that was almost guaranteed to produce fireworks. There was a signal of things to come at the pre-fight press conference when Dana White was forced to cancel the entire production as a result of a backstage altercation that involved several of the aforementioned fighters and their respective teams. Then when the official weigh-ins were due to take place, Chimaev stepped on the scales and missed weight by a rather large margin. The welterweight limit is 170lbs and non-title fights are given a 1lb allowance, but Chimaev weighed in at 178.5lbs instead.
This naturally caused issues as Diaz is already undersized at welterweight as it is, and giving up an extra 8.5lbs is a huge ask. Still, Diaz has been fighting since he was 17 years old and is pretty much happy to take on any challenges that come his way. Matchmakers stepped in and decided to shuffle the card around in order to create fairer fights all around, resulting in Nate Diaz being booked against Tony Ferguson for a welterweight main event fight. Khamzat Chimaev will now be taking on Kevin Holland in a catchweight fight that will serve as the co-main event for UFC 279.
The full event replay for UFC 279, headlined by Nate Diaz v Tony Ferguson, will be available to watch on UFC FightPass, click here to subscribe and watch.