Everyone seems to have a comment on Khamzat Chimaev’s weight-cutting mishap ahead of UFC 279 on Saturday night.
Scheduled to face Nate Diaz in the evening’s main event, the Swedish superstar stepped on the scale for his welterweight bout at 178.5 pounds, 7.5 pounds above the contracted limit. A miss that significant immediately threw the main event and the entire card into uncertainty. What was especially upsetting was Khamzat Chimaev’s cavalier attitude towards the miss, throwing his hands up nonchalantly and responding with a smirk.
In the end, UFC 279 moved forward, but not before a significant shuffle that saw the Chechnyan-born fighter moved to the co-main event against Kevin Holland while Nate Diaz met another fan favorite in Tony Ferguson. While many fans were happier with the rebooked fight card, the fact remains that Khamzat Chimaev’s antics through the entire card into disarray and forced the company to retool the event on a day’s notice. Of course, if you ask Chimaev about the weight miss, he’ll gladly tell you that it was not his fault, but the fault of doctors advising him to stop cutting weight in the early hours of Friday morning, hours before he was scheduled to weigh in.
However, not everyone is convinced that Chimaev is telling the truth, including No. 5 ranked welterweight Belal Muhammad who posted his reaction to the fight between Chimaev and Holland as well as his candid thoughts on the weight-cutting blunder.
“Chimaev, I mean, pretty much what I expected. Holland’s weakness is wrestling. Chimaev’s strength is wrestling. Holland did have a couple of really good grappling sequences and it would have been really interesting to see if he got past that first couple minutes. That was all a sprint for Chimaev and he kept locking in the d’arce, squeezing and squeezing. Holland didn’t have no give-up in him. He was trying to fight out, but Chimaev is just relentless with the grappling. Holland’s weakness is grappling, wrestling. I just think that stylistically it was just a terrible match-up for him.
“I have a lot of doctor friends in the field and we were talking about his medical condition. A lot of them are telling me it could be serious of why he didn’t make weight. They say that… It was a scientific term. They called him fat. Yeah, that was it. He’s just fat. So maybe he starts eating healthier, starts being more disciplined. Stops with the Allen Iverson practice. We talkin’ about practice? Because obviously, he’s skilled.
Bully breakdown pic.twitter.com/0Um2fA9jUX
— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) September 13, 2022
Khamzat Chimaev May Be Forced to Move to Middleweight
Following UFC 279, UFC President Dana White addressed the future of Khamzat Chimaev in the 170-pound division after his weight miss forced significant changes to the promotion’s latest pay-per-view offering. Given his size, Chimaev would be a much more natural fit for the middleweight division which is exactly where he could end up according to the UFC boss.
“Yeah, it’s a problem, it’s a problem that he missed weight,” White said at the UFC 279 post-fight press conference. “We have to look at it and figure it out, but what makes sense is for him to fight at (185). So we’ll see.”
As far as what exactly occurred that required Khamzat Chimaev to stop cutting weight may never be clear, but the fighter was outed by Twitter user @Mini_Khabib for eating and drinking heavily the night before his scheduled weigh-in. That tweet fueled speculation that Chimaev had no intentions of fighting Nate Diaz in the main event and even led to ex-UFC stars Brendan Schaub and Pat Miletich suggesting the UFC manufactured the chaos as a response to low pay-per-view buys. Of course, there is no evidence to suggest that.
Ran into Khamzat Chimaev He was hanging out at a restaurant for hours drinking sparkling water and eating the night before weigh ins and now Khamzat misses weight . I was worried all night about this when I saw it.hope the fight still happens tomorrow . #ufc279 pic.twitter.com/CMrFSxxtxO
— Mini Khabib (@Mini_Khabib) September 9, 2022