One day before the scheduled pay-per-view event, the top three fights on the UFC 279 programme have been totally rearranged, according to UFC president Dana White in a live Instagram video on Friday.
Tony Ferguson will now compete against Nate Diaz in the Saturday night’s main event at T-Mobile Arena. Khamzat Chimaev, Diaz’s intended challenger, failed to make weight on Friday morning and weighed in at 178.5 pounds instead of the 171 pounds allowed for the contest. It makes sense that Diaz decided against fighting such a large opponent.
Chimaev reportedly began cramping and locking during his weight loss, according to White.
It worked fine, so we stack guys in the same weight on the same card intentionally in case something goes wrong, White explained.
Chimaev’s weight error set off a domino effect. The UFC negotiated these modifications with each of the six camps throughout the whole morning and afternoon. It is rare for changes to occur at this level so close to a UFC event.
As with Diaz, Ferguson was expected to face Li Jingliang in the co-main event on Saturday. For that bout, Ferguson weighed 170.5 pounds.
Ferguson vs. Diaz will include five rounds. Ferguson vs. Li would only last three rounds, but Chimaev and Diaz were supposed to fight in five rounds. Ferguson and Diaz agreed to a five-round battle.