Per Dana White, the new UFC 279 main card will consist of Nate Diaz vs. Tony Ferguson, Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kevin Holland, and Li Jingliang vs. Daniel Rodriguez.
In a wild series of events, the original main event for UFC 279 was scrapped after Khamzat Chimaev weighed in 7.5 pounds over the welterweight limit, leaving UFC legends Nate Diaz and Tony Ferguson to face each other in a fan-favorite matchup for the new main event.
The drama began on Thursday night before the press conference began. There was a brawl backstage involving the camps of Chimaev, Kevin Holland, and Diaz, which led to the cancellation of the press conference.
At 6 P.M. EST Friday, Dana White announced via SportsCenter that the UFC 279 matchups would be altered due to Chimaev’s failed weight cut.
“The doctor told him he shouldn’t,” said White regarding Chimaev’s failed cut. “So we jumped on this, this morning, and the new card we have now is Nate Diaz versus Tony Ferguson, Khamzat Chimaev will face Kevin Holland, and Leech will fight Rodriguez.”
The UFC released a statement after White’s appearance which can be read, in full, below:
Due to recommendation from the UFC medical team, Khamzat Chimaev was advised to stop cutting weight due to weight management issues. Chimaev will move up to a catchweight bout of 180 lbs and face Kevin Holland in the new five-round co-main event.
The new main event will feature two all-action UFC favorites as Nate Diaz will face Tony Ferguson in a five-round welterweight bout.
For the third fight on the main card, Li Jingliang will now face Daniel Rodriguez in a 180-lb. catchweight bout.
The women’s bantamweight bout between Irene Aldana and Macy Chiasson will now be contested at a catchweight of 140 lbs.
Featherweight Hakeem Dawodu weighed in at 149.5 lbs and will be fined 30% of his purse in his bout against Julian Erosa.
Heavyweight Chris Barnett weighed in at 267.5 lbs and will be fined 20% of his purse in his bout against Jake Collier.
Due to a change in the main event, refunds will be available at point of sale.
FanSided is on-site and will bring you any updates when they become available.