In a wild 24 hours for the UFC from backstage “chaos” causing a number of UFC 279 fight card updates. Since Thursday’s press conference to headliner Khamzat Chimaev missing weight on Friday morning, the event hasn’t stopped trending. Opposite Chimaev in the main event, Nate Diaz didn’t want to face the Swedish fighter anyway, and will apparently get his wish.
The main fight of the evening will now see the welterweight icon face another legend in Tony Ferguson. Taking the fight, Ferguson steps up from his co-headliner against Li Jingliang, who will now face Daniel Rodriguez in a catchweight bout on the main card. Chimaev has fallen to the co-main event where he too will fight in a catchweight contest against Kevin Holland.
After an afternoon of scrambling and speculation within the organization that even saw a call go out to Dustin Poirier, the UFC found solutions by merely shuffling fighters around. With catchweight contests now making up so much of the main card, it will be interesting to see if any impact is made in the division standings. Rodriguez and Holland were already scheduled at catchweight, and Holland now gets a top-ranked fighter in Chimaev for five rounds, making the evening likely more competitive for both parties.
With no camps to prepare for their specific opponents, it will be interesting what the fights look like on Saturday. The card movement appears to favor both Diaz and Ferguson were considerable underdogs in their original contests. Diaz has a more favorable opportunity to go out with a victory, fighting the welterweight division’s 11th-ranked athlete instead of the third.
UFC 279 Fight Card Updates and Odds
#11 Tony Ferguson (-145) vs Nate Diaz (+125) – Welterweight
Li Jingliang (+130) vs Daniel Rodriguez (-150) – Catchweight
Kevin Holland (+410) vs Khamzat Chimaev (-520) – Catchweight