Fight week for UFC 279 has not gone according to plan, but after a wild 24 hours that saw a backstage brawl cancel Thursday’s presser and Khamzat Chimaev miss weight by 7.5 pounds on Friday for the main event, we have an official card set for Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Chimaev will move to the co-main spot where he’ll face Kevin Holland at a catchweight after plenty of talk and their role as the two at the center of Thursday night’s ruckus backstage. The two faced off on the stage on Friday night at the weigh-in ceremony and were plenty talkative for what figures to be a heated fight.
In the main event, Tony Ferguson will step up into Chimaev’s place in a welterweight bout with Nate Diaz that will still go five rounds, as the longtime UFC veterans will go toe to toe for the first time, something Diaz says was a long time coming while also calling out Chimaev for being afraid to fight him.
Li Jingliang who was scheduled to face Ferguson will now fight Daniel Rodriguez in a three-round catchweight fight with Rodriguez weighing 8.5 pounds more than Li. Diaz and Ferguson were apparently substantially compensated for the shakeup in what Diaz promises will be his final fight with UFC, while Chimaev seemingly gets his wish of facing Holland.