In what has the potential to be the greatest farewell party in the history of the UFC, Nate Diaz was prepared to make one final walk to the octagon at UFC 279.
Looking to cement his own reputation against Diaz was the surging Khamzat Chimaev, fresh off a win over Gilbert Burns earlier this year. The Burns fight had been the first to truly test Khamzat, and while he didn’t pass with flying colors exactly, he did pass, coming away victorious after three grueling rounds.
The UFC 279 main event would be a five-round affair however, a new wrinkle for a fighter who tired over the 15 minutes he spent in the cage with Burns. As for Diaz, cardio of course is one of his best weapons. Thus the belief going in that Chimaev’s best path to victory was early, while key for Diaz would be to drag “Borz” into deep waters.
Also on the UFC 279 card, several fan-friendly names, including Tony Ferguson, Irene Aldana, and Kevin Holland. Weigh-ins for the event take place Friday morning in Las Vegas — results can be found below.
The drama began early Friday morning. Rumors began to swirl that Khamzat Chimaev was in danger of making weight. “Borz” was nowhere to be found after an hour, though Nate Diaz hit the scales at 171lbs. Then, the bantamweight fight between Irene Aldana and Macy Chiasson was shifted to a 140lb catchweight, per UFC officials.
About an hour and 20 minutes into the weigh-in window, Chimaev did hit the scale — at 178.5lbs, well over the non-title welterweight limit (171). The status of the UFC 279 main event is currently in question as a result.
Friday evening, a new main event featuring Diaz vs. Ferguson, and a new co-main of Chimaev vs. Holland were announced. Li Jingliang will now fight Daniel Rodriguez. Only Dawodu and Barnett will be fined for missing weight, as Chimaev now takes part in a 180lb catchweight fight.
UFC 279: Chimaev vs. Diaz Weigh-In Results
Welterweight: Khamzat Chimaev (178.5)* vs. Nate Diaz (171)
Welterweight: Li Jingliang (170.5) vs. Tony Ferguson (171)
Catchweight (180lb): Kevin Holland (179.5) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (179)
Catchweight (140lb): Irene Aldana (137.5) vs. Macy Chiasson (139.5)
Light Heavyweight: Johnny Walker (205) vs. Ion Cuțelaba (205.5)
Featherweight: Hakeem Dawodu (149.5)** vs. Julian Erosa (146)
Catchweight (220lb): Jailton Almeida (216.5) vs. Anton Turkalj (214)
Middleweight: Denis Tiuliulin (186) vs. Jamie Pickett (185.5)
Heavyweight: Jake Collier (265) vs. Chris Barnett (267.5)***
Early preliminary card
Women’s Featherweight: Norma Dumont (146) vs. Danyelle Wolf (146)
Bantamweight: Chad Anheliger (135.5) vs. Alateng Heili (135)
Women’s Strawweight: Melissa Martinez (113.5) vs. Elise Reed (115.5)
Welterweight: Darian Weeks (170.5) vs. Yohan Lainesse (171)
* Chimaev misses weight by 7.5lbs for his fight with Nate Diaz, will not continue his weight cut.
** Dawodu misses weight by 3.5lbs for his featherweight fight with Julian Erosa. He will not attempt to cut any additional weight, per UFC officials
*** Barnett misses weight by 1.5lbs, will not continue his weight cut.