LAS VEGAS — Nate Diaz will tackle fellow veteran welterweight Tony Ferguson at UFC 279 after Khamzat Chimaev badly missed weight for his main-event showdown with Diaz.
The highest three fights on the pay-per-view card had been shuffled due to Chimaev’s failed weight minimize Friday, however all six fighters will nonetheless compete Saturday evening at T-Cellular Enviornment.
Chimaev weighed in 7 1/2 kilos over the restrict at 178.5 kilos on the UFC Apex fitness center, and the Chechnya-born Swede’s mistake led to a number of late changes to the present on the Las Vegas Strip. Chimaev will struggle rival Kevin Holland as a substitute, whereas Holland’s scheduled opponent will struggle Ferguson’s scheduled opponent.
Ferguson was scheduled to face Li Jingliang within the penultimate bout of UFC 279. As a substitute, the longtime title contender who briefly held the light-weight belt will step as much as the five-round essential occasion in opposition to Diaz, one of the vital fashionable fighters in blended martial arts.
The 37-year-old Diaz was a serious betting underdog in opposition to Chimaev, one of many world’s high welterweights, however his struggle with Ferguson is predicted to be way more aggressive. Diaz is within the ultimate bout of his contract with the UFC, and he has already introduced plans to begin his personal promotional firm.
Though Chimaev is dealing with hefty monetary penalties for his mistake, he’ll keep on the cardboard to face Holland in a 180-pound catchweight bout. The matchup carries unhealthy blood: Chimaev and Holland acquired right into a bodily struggle Thursday earlier than the UFC 279 information convention, forcing the promotion to scrap the occasion.
Chimaev shrugged his shoulders and smiled when informed of his weight — and moments later, he posted a joking meme about lacking weight on his Twitter account.
Holland was scheduled to face Daniel Rodriguez on the undercard. Rodriguez will face Li as a substitute in a 180-pound catchweight bout.
The UFC additionally made a number of further weight changes to the cardboard. Most prominently, the bantamweight bout between Macy Chiasson and Irene Aldana is now a 140-pound catchweight bout.
Featherweight Hakeem Dawodu and Heavyweight Chris Barnett additionally missed weight for UFC 279, however will keep on the cardboard of their unique bouts. Dawodu will hand over 30% of his purse to opponent Julian Erosa, and Barnett loses 20% of his purse to Jake Collier.
The UFC is offering refunds to followers with tickets who not wish to see the reshuffled card, though each fighter scheduled for the present continues to be competing.
There are three Canadians on the cardboard: Calgary featherweight (Imply) Hakeem Dawodu, bantamweight Chad (The Monster) Anheliger of Airdrie, Alta., and Montreal welterweight Yohan (White Lion) Lainesse.
Dawodu (13-2-1) takes on American Julian (Juicy J) Erosa (27-9-0) whereas Anheliger (12-5-0) faces China’s Heili (The Mongolian Knight) Alateng (15-8-2) and Lainesse (8-2-0) meets American Darian Weeks (5-2-0).
Dwodu missed the non-title featherweight restrict of 146 kilos, weighing in at 149.5 kilos. A portion of his purse will go to Erosa consequently.
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Greg Beacham, The Related Press