Khamzat Chimaev stepped onto the scale for the official UFC 279 weigh-in on Friday. The Swedish contender tipped the scales at 178.5 pounds, 7.5 pounds over the contractually obligated limit for his welterweight non-title main event with Nate Diaz.
As a result, the entire event was in jeopardy. Fortunately for MMA fans and the other fighters on the card, Dana White and Hunter Cambell, the UFC’s chief business officer, worked tirelessly to salvage the card by doing a mix-and-match of sorts. Now Nate Diaz will face Tony Ferguson in the evening’s main event while Khamzat Chimaev shifts to the co-main event against rival Kevin Holland.
Once Dana White made the official announcement, the UFC 279 ceremonial weigh-ins got underway. Coming out from behind the curtain, Khamzat Chimaev was immediately met with boos from the crowd as many fans and fighters were upset with Chimaev’s cavalier response to missing weight.
The perceived lack of respect and professionalism caught the attention of former two-division world champion Conor McGregor. The Irishman took to Twitter, calling for Chimaev’s removal from the card entirely.
“My opinion they should have pulled khamzat from the card entirely. Reconfiguring bouts, and with a more favorable bout for the failed cutter, will only make many others in the game follow suit. The smirks on the scale where enough for me. Pull from the card and starve. McG UFC. “
My opinion they should have pulled khamzat from the card entirely. Reconfiguring bouts, and with a more favorable bout for the failed cutter, will only make many others in the game follow suit. The smirks on the scale where enough for me. Pull from the card and starve. McG UFC.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 10, 2022
Khamzat Chimaev’s Actions May Have Cost Him Fans and Respect
Since missing the mark by a substantial amount at the UFC 279 weigh-ins, Khamzat Chimaev has been totally unapologetic and in some opinions, disrespectful. During the official weigh-in, Chimaev flipped off the media on his way to the back. Then during the ceremonial weigh-ins, he delivered double birds to the fans in attendance before engaging in a heated face-to-face with new opponent Kevin Holland.
From there, Khamzat Chimaev proceeded to deliver an expletive-filled message to the crowd and to his original opponent, Nate Diaz.
“Hey, this is Chechnya motherf*cker, shut up, guys. I f*ck your boy up, I f*ck him backstage as well.
“I don’t care, I want to smash everybody. I come here f*ck everybody, you know? I’m going to take over now.”
— MMA Fighting (@MMAFighting) September 10, 2022
It should also be noted that despite Khamzat Chimaev weighing in well over the originally contracted limit, he will not face any penalties nor will he be required to give up a percentage of his purse as his fight at UFC 279 was renegotiated. In summation, the Chechnyan-born fighter was, by all accounts, the cause of a brawl that forced Dana White to cancel the UFC 279 press conference on Thursday, he missed weight and gloated about it on Friday, and forced the company to scramble in an attempt to save the event in the final 36 hours.
Despite all of that, Khamzat Chimaev still keeps his spot on the card and his full fight purse.