Dana White explains new UFC 279 main card matchups after Khamzat Chimaev badly missed weight

Hours after Khamzat Chimaev failed to make weight at Friday’s official weigh-ins, The UFC has completely shuffled the top three fights on its UFC 279 card one day before the scheduled pay-per-view event,

Following yesterday’s “absolute s**tshow” at the press conference as fighters brawled backstage, Nate Diaz will take on fellow veteran welterweight Tony Ferguson at UFC 279 after Khamzat Chimaev badly missed weight for his main-event showdown with Diaz.

Khamzat Chimaev, who was originally set to fight Diaz in the main event, will instead meet Kevin Holland in a five-round 180-pound catchweight contest after missing weight by 7.5 pounds. Last but not least, Daniel Rodriguez and Li Jinglian will square off in a three-round 180-pound (catchweight bout).

Dana White pulled off what appeared to be impossible, managing to rearrange the entire fight card to keep everything in order.

“It’s been a hell of a night and a hell of a morning,” White said on Friday evening on ESPN SportsCenter’s Instagram account. “It’s not by coincidence that we stack guys the same weight on the same card in case anything goes wrong, but yeah, it worked out.

“Obviously, when something like this happens, you got guys that trained for another guy for a long time. Getting these guys to agree to different fights can be a little tough sometimes, but we got ’em all done, they’re locked in.”

Despite the UFC not getting its way with the original matchups, Dana White appeared to not be too concerned the end product.

“Nate Diaz and Tony, like you said, the fans have wanted to see this one forever,” White said. “It’s gonna happen now before Nate leaves the UFC.

“Yesterday, there were a lot of questions about what happened. Kevin Holland and Khamzat Chimaev actually got into it yesterday backstage. Ironically, they will now fight on Saturday night, and ‘Leech’ vs. Rodriguez is also a fun fight. So, it literally couldn’t have played out any better.”

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