After much controversy, Nate Diaz will still main event UFC 279 on Saturday night. Instead of stepping into the Octagon against undefeated welterweight Khamzat Chimaev, Diaz will now face fellow fan favorite Tony Ferguson in the headlining bout.
Following his face-off with Tony Ferguson at the UFC 279 ceremonial weigh-ins, Nate Diaz had some words for the Swedish star.
“Tony’s been around a long time, we should have fought a long time ago,” Diaz said. “Khabib [Nurmagomedov]’s b*tcha** was afraid of him just like this b*tcha** motherf*cker was afraid of me yesterday. We punked his b*tcha** in the back here and now he doesn’t make weight.
“You guys already know what it is. Real Gs come from California, America motherf*cker.”
Things began to fall apart on Thursday night as the UFC 279 press conference was scheduled to get underway. Reports of multiple brawls backstage between Chimaev, Diaz, and Kevin Holland began to surface, ultimately forcing Dana White to cancel the media event. The next morning during the official weigh-ins, Khamzat Chimaev stepped on the scale weighing 7.5 pounds over the welterweight non-title fight limit, jeopardizing the main event.
Fortunately, the UFC was able to make lemonade out of lemons by moving previously scheduled co-main eventer Tony Ferguson to the main event against Nate Diaz. Ferguson’s former opponent Li Jingliang will now meet Daniel Rodriguez on the main card while Rodriguez’s previously scheduled opponent Kevin Holland will face Khamzat Chimaev in a five-round co-main event.
The show must go on!!! 🔥
— UFC (@ufc) September 9, 2022
Nate Diaz and The Fighters of UFC 279 Embrace Their New Assignments
All six fighters affected by the sudden change fully embraced their new assignments just 24 hours before the card was scheduled to get underway.
“Grab your f*cking popcorn and blue Slushees motherf*cker because we’re going to have some fun!” Ferguson said during the ceremonial weigh-in.
Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland required extra security on stage as there has been plenty of bad blood leading to their unexpected showdown on Saturday night.
“It all happened for a good reason,” Holland said. “All these guys claiming they’re gangsters, they’re not gangsters. They wear makeup for the HD cameras and that’s as simple as it is.”
When asked if he believed Khamzat Chimaev was a better fight for him, Holland said, “F*ck no, but it’s going to be a fun one.”
Chimaev was met with boos from the crowd after his early morning weight miss. Responsible for much of the ruckus backstage at the UFC 279 press conference and the last-minute changes to the card, Chimaev was unapologetic when speaking to the crowd. As far as the weight miss, Chimaev informed the crowd that he advised to stop cutting weight in the early morning hours on Friday.
“They stopped that sh*t,” Chimaev said before responding to the crowd. “I don’t know, I wanted more cutting that sh*t. Hey, this is Chechnya motherf*cker, shut up, guys. I f*ck your boy up, I f*** 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.”