Khamzat Chimaev via UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship YouTube

UFC Makes Major Changes To UFC 279 Fight Card After Khamzat Chimaev Fails To Make Weight

The UFC announced major changes to their fight card for Saturday night’s UFC 279 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada after Khamzat Chimaev, one of the top welterweight contenders, failed to make weight for his match against Nate Diaz.

Khamzat Chimaev via UFC – Ultimate Fighting Championship YouTube

During the weigh-in Chimaev, who is the #3 ranked welterweight contender, came in at 178.5 lbs. That’s 7.5 lbs. above the 171 weight limit for welterweight fighters. Diaz had no issue making weight coming in at 171 lbs.

RELATED: Khamzat Chimaev Confronts Paulo Costa In Profanity-Laced Trash Talk Tirade Ahead Of His Showdown With Nate Diaz

The UFC explained that Chimaev “was advised to stop cutting weight due to weight management issues.”  Given Chimaev was 7.5 lbs. overweight the UFC announced he “will move up to a catchweight bout of 180 lbs. and face Kevin Holland in the new five-round co-main event.”

Diaz will now fight Tony Ferguson in a five-round welterweight fight.

Ferguson was originally scheduled to fight Li Jingliang in a welterweight bout. He will now fight Daniel Rodriguez in a 180 lb catchweight bout. Rodriguez was originally scheduled to fight Holland in a catchweight bout.

Tony Ferguson via UFC – Ultimate Fighting Championship YouTube

Other changes to the card include Irena Aldana and Macy Chiasson fighting in a catchweight bout of 140 lbs. The two were originally supposed to fight in a Bantamweight bout.

The UFC also fined Hakeem Dawodu 30% of his purse for missing weight. He weighed in at 149.5 lbs. He fights Julian Erosa in a Featherweight bout.

Finally, they fined Chris Barnett 20% of his purse for missing weight as well. He weighed in at 267.5 lbs. He fights Chris Barnett in a Heavyweight bout.

Kevin Holland via UFC – Ultimate Fighting Championship YouTube

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UFC President Dana White first explained why Chimaev missed weight by so much, “What happened was he was cutting weight. If you saw him yesterday, he was very, very lean already. He should have come in on weight. He started to cut weight and he started locking up and cramping and all the things that happen from a bad cut.”

“Unlike 10 years ago when we were doing this, they call in, we send a doctor up, and a doctor determines whether he should keep cutting weight or not. And the doctor told him he shouldn’t,” he elaborated.

White continued, “So we jumped on this this morning and the new card now: we have Nate Diaz vs. Tony Ferguson, and Khamzat Chimaev will fight Kevin Holland, and Li Jinagling will fight Rodriguez.”

RELATED: Nate Diaz Announces New MMA Promotion ‘Real Fight, Inc.’ Ahead Of Showdown With Khamzat Chimaev At UFC 279

White then made it clear that they were prepared for this possibility explaining, “Listen, it’s not by coincidence that we stack guys the same weight on the same card in case anything goes wrong. But, yeah, it worked out.”

“You know, obviously, when something like this happens, you got guys who have trained for another guy for a long time. So getting these guys to agree to different fights can be a little tough sometimes, but we got them all done. They are locked in. I will be at the weigh-ins in 45 minutes and we will be squaring these guys off,” he detailed.

Nate Diaz via UFC – Ultimate Fighting Championship YouTube

He went on, “Nate Diaz and Tony, like you said, the fans have wanted to see this one forever. It’s going to happen now before Nate leaves the UFC.”

“And yesterday there was a lot of questions about what happened. Kevin Holland and Khamzat Chimaev actually got into it yesterday back stage. Ironically, they will now fight Saturday night. And Li Jingliang versus Rodriguez is also a fun fight. It literally couldn’t have played out any better,” he asserted.

Li Jingliang via UFC – Ultimate Fighting Championship YouTube

What do you make of these changes to the UFC 279 card?

NEXT: Dana White Ends UFC 279 Press Conference After “Crazy S***” Happening Behind The Scenes Between Khamzat Chimaev, Kevin Holland, And Nate Diaz