Dana White detailed the events leading up to the collapse of the scheduled UFC 279 main event
UFC president Dana White says doctors became concerned for Khamzat Chimaev when his body began to ‘freeze’ during his doomed weight loss ahead of his scheduled main event at the UFC 279 against Nate Diaz in Las Vegas.
Undefeated rising star Chimaev was scheduled to take part in what would have been his first main event fight under the UFC banner, but was pulled from the bout after weighing 7.5 pounds over the contracted welterweight limit of 171 pounds, causing a whirlwind of late changes. fights announced on the à la carte card.
But those changes were necessary, according to White, who said Chimaev was dealing with health issues brought on by his efforts to lose the weight required to reach the welterweight limit.
“He was already very, very thin and he should have gained weight“, White said on Instagram Live confirming the rake of last minute changes to UFC 279.
“He started losing weight and he started locking himself up and having cramps and all the things that happen from a bad cut.
“Unlike 10 years ago when we were doing this they call we send a doctor and a doctor determines whether he should continue losing weight or not and the doctor told him he shouldn’t.”
Chimaev later told ESPN that doctors halted his weight cut at 4 a.m. and informed him he was not medically fit to continue. It’s unclear why doctors arrived at his hotel room, or if they were called by a staff member from the UFC or Chimaev’s team.
This is the first time the Chechen-born Chimaev has lost weight in the UFC. He fought his first fight in the middleweight division (185 pounds) but has fought three of his five UFC fights in the welterweight bracket.
It’s also not the first time that health issues have impacted Chimaev’s career. He was scheduled to face current UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards in December 2020 but was forced to pull out after suffering complications from being diagnosed with Covid-19.
It was reported in the weeks that followed that Chimaev had considered retiring from mixed martial arts due to the persistent symptoms he was suffering from.
Diaz, meanwhile, who made his contracted weight ahead of the scheduled fight against Chimaev, will now instead face fellow veteran Tony Ferguson in the hastily-arranged new main event of UFC 279, while Chimaev will take on the experienced Kevin Holland in a five-round co-main. an event.
Chimaev and Holland had become embroiled in a heated backstage confrontation ahead of Thursday’s pre-fight press conference, prompting Dana White to cancel the media event.
“Yesterday there were a lot of questions about what happenedWhite added of the antipathy between the two fighters. “Kevin Holland and Khamzat Chimaev actually got into it backstage yesterday. Ironically now they will fight on Saturday night.”
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