Friday might well go down as one of the strangest days in UFC history, as Saturday’s UFC 279 card was turned on its head.
At the end of a week in which he had confronted another fighter at the UFC Performance Institute and later caused the cancellation of the pre-fight press conference by starting a series of backstage incidents, Khamzat Chimaevmissed weight for his main event against Nate Diaz.
As a result, the card has been reworked, with rising star Chimaev now facing Kevin Holland – with whom he engaged in one of Thursday’s backstage brawls – in a catchweight bout, while icon Diaz takes on fan favourite and fellow veteran Tony Ferguson in the new main event.
Meanwhile, Ferguson and Holland’s originally-scheduled opponents, Li Jingliang and Daniel Rodriguez, will fight one another in a catchweight contest.
Here’s all you need to know about UFC 279.
When is it?
UFC 279 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday 10 September.
The early prelims will start at 11pm BST (3pm PT, 5pm CT, 6pm ET), with the prelims following at 1am BST on Sunday 11 September (5pm PT, 7pm CT, 8pm ET on Saturday).
The main card then takes place at 3am BST (7pm PT, 9pm CT, 10pm ET on Saturday).
How can I watch it?
The card will air live on BT Sport in the UK, with the broadcaster’s app and website also streaming the fights.
In the US, ESPN+ will stream the action live, as will the UFC’s Fight Pass.
Nate Diaz will now fight Tony Ferguson in a welterweight main event
Diaz – 1/1; Ferguson – 4/5
Chimaev – 1/5; Holland – 7/2
Li – 6/5; Rodriguez – 4/6
Nate Diaz vs Tony Ferguson (welterweight)
Khamzat Chimaev vs Kevin Holland (catchweight)
Li Jingliang vs Daniel Rodriguez (catchweight)
Irene Aldana vs Macy Chiasson (women’s bantamweight)
Johnny Walker vs Ion Cutelaba (light heavyweight)
Hakeem Dawodu vs Julian Erosa (featherweight)
Shamil Abdurakhimov vs Jailton Almeida (heavyweight)
Denis Tiuliulin vs Jamie Pickett (middleweight)
Jake Collier vs Chris Barnett (heavyweight)
Norma Dumont vs Danyelle Wolf (women’s featherweight)
Chad Anheliger vs Alatengheili (bantamweight)
Melissa Martinez vs Elise Reed (women’s strawweight)
Darian Weeks vs Yohan Yailesse (welterweight)