“Real Gangsters Make Weight”: Fighters React to Khamzat Chimaev Dropping the Ball Ahead of UFC 279

Khamzat Chimaev, UFC 279
Khamzat Chimaev, UFC 279 official weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

UFC 279 was set to be a star turn for surging welterweight Khamzat Chimaev.

“Borz” had been booked into something of a mismatch against one of the promotion’s biggest stars, Nate Diaz, with Diaz expected to compete inside the octagon for the final time this weekend. But on Friday, word soon spread that Chimaev was heavy. Very heavy.

As it turned out, he was 7.5lbs heavy for his welterweight fight with Diaz. Chimaev tipped the scales at 178.5lbs at the official weigh-in, jokingly saying “that’s not bad” and smiling as he stepped off the scale. After his pose, however, Chimaev would flip off the cameras, and no matter how much he tries to downplay it, the miss is not good.

Nevada athletic commission rules generally do not allow more than a 5lb weight discrepancy between fighters update: this differs by weight class, so they may be in the clear there — were Diaz to accept the fight. He may not, given the size of the miss. Leaving a very real possibility Friday morning that UFC 279 could be in need of a new main event.

Diaz weighed in successfully at 171lbs.

Chimaev’s fellow fighters, meanwhile, were far from impressed with the development. One former opponent, Gerald Meerschaert, may have gotten the best dig in at the Swedish star, whose antics a day earlier had caused the UFC 279 pre-fight press conference to be cancelled: “real gangsters make weight.”

See that and reactions from more fighters to Chimaev’s weight miss below.