What an unreal turn of events! Way to make chicken shit into chicken salad, UFC!
Dana White just went on SportsCenter to unveil the new UFC 279 lineup - which is completely shaken up due to Khamzat Chimaev missing weight but 7.5lbs this morning - and said that a doctor told Khamzat to stop cutting weight last night when he started cramping up, so they started working on solutions when they knew he'd miss weight.
We went from this card falling apart at the seams....
-Nate Diaz vs Khamzat Chimaev (at 170lbs)
-Li Jingiang vs Tony Ferguson (at 170lbs)
-Kevin Holland vs Daniel Rodriguez (at 180lbs)
....to now getting this card of - potentially better matchups?
-Nate Diaz vs Tony Ferguson (at 170lbs)
-Kevin Holland vs Khamzat Chimaev (at 180lbs)
-Li Jingiang vs Daniel Rodriguez (at 180lbs)
For starters, that main event went from what many believed would be a MAULING to an absolute scrap. That's a fantastic matchup for both guys at this stage in their careers and I think we're gonna see them slugging it out and putting on an all out slobberknocker for damn near five rounds. I even favor Diaz quite a bit here! I think he mighta been finished in the first round against Chimaev, but could walk away from the UFC with a stoppage win over Ferguson!
Note: I'm not saying Tony Ferguson's got no shot here, but I really worry about his chin in this fight after watching Michael Chandler kick his skull to the stratosphere a mere four months ago. Still though, he rocked Chandler in that fight, so who knows what happens here.
What a blessing in disguise it was for that Kevin Holland/Daniel Rodriguez was a last-minute catchweight fight, huh?
Now Khamzat has an opponent - in Holland - and we're getting the resolution to what started last night's brawl (where Chimaev allegedly push-kicked Holland in the chest)…
Kevin "Big Mouth" Holland has been one of the only fighters in the company to openly call Chimaev out over the last few months, and he's finally getting his wish now through the wildest of scenarios. Funny how that worked out.
Respect to Daniel Rodriguez and Li Jingliang taking the fight against each other as well - we know opponent changes aren't fun when preparing months for one specific fighter, but they were seemingly along for the ride from the jump. Hopefully they're gettin some nice bonuses for the inconvenience.
Oh, and honestly - the whole thing with a doctor telling Chimaev to stop cutting makes his reaction to everything today a little more understandable, especially if it was beyond his control and he knew he was probably fighting Holland anyway.
Thanks to that new piece of info, I will swallow my pride and apologize to Khamzat Chimaev for overreacting before - especially if a doctor told him to stop cutting weight for his health. I saw red and freaked out.
I'm thrilled now, however.