Who’s fighting who Chimaev vs Diaz Vs Kevin, Tony Vs Li vs Rodriguez?
Dana Whites final cards for UFC 279 came the day before the event. During the weigh-ins and even prior while the fighters were cutting down. In the background of the press conferences and weight ceremonies, a new card was being formulated. A card for only the realest of fight sport fans to handle. UFC 279’s “Card Shuffle” was the first time for many strange shenanigans. Though RDX does not support all the actions and misbehavior that the fighters got up to behind the scenes. We do believe that the card shuffle was the best for everyone and settled some beef between these gangsters in Vegas. Both old and fresh.
Press Conference Madness
The press conferences lasted a total of 7 minutes. UFC president Dana White canceled them right after Kevin Holland and Daniel Rodriguez got off. As a backstage brawl ensued. No one has a clear picture on who started the entire affair. There were reports of over 80 people being involved in the mayhem behind the scenes.
The Diaz team was apparently involved and Tony Ferguson apparently offered Nate breath mints. Kevin Holland was on the receiving end of a Khamzat teep kick. Oddly enough, Darren Till was the voice of reason between those two hotheads. All of this (Darren weirdly included) culminated in a first time press conference cancellation by a very disappointed Dana.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 10, 2022
“They stopped that s—t [the weight cut], I don’t know,” Chimaev said. “Hey, this is Chechnya motherf——ers. Shut up, guys. I’m gonna f—k your boy up, I f—k him backstage as well. I don’t care, I want to smesh everybody,” he later added. “I come here [to] f—k everybody. I’m gonna take it over now.”
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) September 10, 2022
Read more into the wild backstage madness here.
Weigh-in, Card Shuffle
The following day at the Weighing Ceremony. The fighters came up one by one getting their official weights jotted down for the fights tomorrow. Weight is one of the most respected factors of the entire fight sports industry. Any fighter would tell you how important the weight divisions are. It makes a huge difference in every aspect of your fight. From wrestling, grappling to striking power. Furthermore, it embodies the professional level of fight sports as a whole. Every fighter regardless of background, skill, race or history observes the conditions of the weigh-in ceremony. It’s written into every contract and the UFC takes huge steps to disincentivize cheating the scales or missing weight.
However despite all these valid points and reasons. Chimaev missed weight on the day, by a whopping 7 pounds. The All Stars team released a statement shortly after, that a UFC official doctor told them earlier to stop the weight cut. The reason given was apparently Khamzat had been facing serious pain from cramps. For the sake of the fighters safety Hunter Campbell told the All Stars team to stop the weight cut and that the UFC would figure something else out. And that’s what really caused the Card Shuffle.
Two hours after the Weigh-in Ceremony a completely new card was presented. Nate Diaz “209 Gangster” will be fighting Tony “ El Cucuy” Ferguson as the five round main event. A huge amount of respect for both these veterans as they face off in Nate’s retirement fight.
Khamzat “King Borz” Chimaev would be fighting his press conference assailant Kevin “Big Mouth” Holland. Kevin further negotiated that if he was gonna take the fight that it would have to be five rounds. Hoping that Khamzat’s stamina wouldn’t last that far. (Spoiler: Khamzat didn’t need the rounds, he’s a Chechen Gangster in Vegas)
Here is some of the backstage argument between Chimaev and Holland
The real hero of the card, Li Jingliang “The Leech” was fighting a completely different fighter. His preparation for Tony Ferguson would be a lot less effective against Daniel “D Rod”’ Rodriguez. The Leech was forced to fight a much lesser known fighter despite being one of China’s finest. It definitely felt bad from suit reveal to card change for Li. What a gangster in Vegas Li was for working cordially with the promotion. Though “D Rod” got more exposure for the match up.
This was the card to test out these shenanigans. A Martial Arts Veteran that has been significantly undervalued by the promotion. A Gangster at the end of his contract looking for any way out. A Young Wolf hungry for everyone’s blood. A Samaritan who talks big and knows what real gangster is. The Chinese monk who’s always smiling but always lethal. And finally the underdog “D Rod” whose participation and skill was completely unexpected and even more surprising.
If there was any card to test a last minute match up change or a card shuffle, it was this one. Although the UFC would have us believe no conspiracy occurred and that all of this was coincidental. Many analysts feel that the card rematch ups were too good to be true. Others think that it may have been part of the original plan when the card got announced. Either way it was the most entertaining any UFC card has ever been for all the fans watching in on the drama.
Dana had this to say:
“There’s some f*cking lunatics on the internet that think this was all staged and planned and whatever. If you think that the crazy dudes that we had here this week could be orchestrated into something that would be … you’re literally out of your mind. This all happened and we had to deal with it. I just couldn’t wait to get tonight over with.”
RDX just wishes that Khamzat wasn’t the one to miss weight and Tony wasn’t the one who lost. We aren’t sure about the conspiracies just yet but our noses do itch by the smell of something funny afoot.