If you’ve been away in the past 48 hours, UFC 279 has been almost completely revamped.
No longer the main event Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz.
Chimaev was overweight at the weigh-ins, registering 7.5 pounds over the maximum non-title limit. He is now in a catchweight bout against Kevin Holland, losing a coveted spot in the main event. Instead, it now belongs to Tony Ferguson. Quit his fight against Li Jingliang, Ferguson’s new opponent is Diaz, making this the main fight for 279. Jingliang will fight Daniel Rodriguez, while the other two fights – Irene Aldana vs. Macy Chiasson, which was changed to catchweight , and Johnny Walker vs. Ion Cutelaba – are still part of the card.
How did we get here? Chimaev steps on the scale so far, being overweight is difficult to treat. He had also just engaged in a backstage fight the night before against Holland, which made this change all too convenient. Conspiracy theorists are going to have a blast with this one. Chimaev walks tall, so his kidney issues could have started when he started losing weight, but there’s no doubt that the 279 card currently has a lot more excitement than before.
Ultimately, the UFC’s job is to sell fights. These matchups make for the most compelling fights for 279. Ferguson competes with his entire being, displaying a fighting spirit that’s uniquely compelling to watch every time he steps into the Octagon. He now has the chance to end his four-fight losing streak against Diaz, who claims this will be his last fight in the UFC. This is the best possible chance for Ferguson to re-enter the win column, and it should be explosive to see these two finally fight.
Here are my updated predictions:
UFC 279 Main Event: Tony Ferguson vs. Nate Diaz
Take: Tony Ferguson
UFC 279 catchweight fight: Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kevin Holland
Take: Khamzat Chimaev
UFC 279 catchweight fight: Li Jingliang vs. Daniel Rodriguez
Take: Daniel Rodriguez
UFC 279 catchweight fight: Irene Aldana vs. Macy Chiasson
Take: Irene Aldana
UFC 279 light heavyweight fight: Johnny Walker vs. Ion Cutelaba
Take: Ion Mignonlaba
Last week: 4-1
Record 2022: 100-59
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