On Thursday the official press conference was cancelled due to a wild backstage melee that Chimaev was involved in and now the Chechen-Swede may not even be competing at all.
Rumours had began to swirl that Chimaev was struggling with cutting weight and when he stepped on the scales on Friday at the UFC Apex, he was well over the 171 pounds limit.
Faced with the always difficult question of how to pose during a major weigh-in miss, Khamzat Chimaev went with the Larry David. Interesting choice. pic.twitter.com/lx14pIv4s8— Ben Fowlkes (@benfowlkesMMA) September 9, 2022
Diaz, meanwhile, made weight without any issues whatsoever.
Despite tipping the scales at 178.5 pounds, Chimaev smirked, flipped the bird and did a flexing pose, even saying, "That’s not bad.”
However the 11-0 undefeated UFC star was seriously underselling it as Dana White and UFC will now have to revert to a back-up plan at incredibly short notice.
Ran into Khamzat Chimaev He was hanging out at a restaurant for hours drinking sparkling water and eating the night before weigh ins and now Khamzat misses weight . I was worried all night about this when I saw it.hope the fight still happens tomorrow . #ufc279 pic.twitter.com/CMrFSxxtxO— Mini Khabib (@Mini_Khabib) September 9, 2022
UFC 279 takes place on Saturday night in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas but the card will likely need some tweaking.
In the build-up to the bout, Chimaev had told UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier that he weighed 18 pounds.
The 28-year-old therefore needed to drop 16 pounds in two days - a tough task that he has fallen short of achieving.
In the co-main event, Tony Ferguson and Li Jingliang had no problems making the welterweight limit and remains to be seen how UFC will proceed with the card.
I talked to someone in Diaz's camp who said "Khamzat fight's not going to happen." They believe Chimaev didn't even try to make the weight and is basically cheating. The consensus around Diaz's team is he's either going to fight Tony Ferguson or not fight at all. #UFC279— Cole Shelton (@ColeShelton91) September 9, 2022
In terms of Diaz, there's talk that he will either face Ferguson or not compete at all - with his team feeling there was no attempt from Chimaev to cut the necessary weight.
This is the Stockton fighter's final fight in his current UFC contract.
Featured Image Credit: Image: UFC