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Referee, judges selected for Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz in UFC 279 main event

UFC 273: Burns v Chimaev Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

The referee and judges overseeing the upcoming UFC 279 main event between Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz have been selected by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Veteran referee Marc Goddard will serve as the third man in the octagon when Chimaev and Diaz clash in a five-round welterweight bout at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Goddard is widely considered one of the top referees in the sport after recently overseeing UFC main events such as Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway 3, Glover Teixeira vs. Jiri Prochazka and Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje.

The judges selected by the commission include Derek Cleary, Sal D’Amato and Ron McCarthy.

The welterweight showdown happens as Diaz seeks to end his relationship with the UFC with only one fight remaining on his current contract.

Diaz hasn’t fought since June 2021 when he lost a decision to future UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards. Since that time, Diaz has been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to test free agency but he had been unable to actually secure a fight until now.

While it’s possible Diaz could re-sign with the UFC afterwards, the 37-year-old veteran has said through interviews and social media that he plans to exit the promotion to test the open market for the first time since he first signed with the promotion after winning The Ultimate Fighter season 5 back in 2007.

As for Chimaev, the undefeated Chechen will look to keep his winning streak going after engaging in a three-round war with Gilbert Burns in his last outing. Chimaev currently boasts an 11-0 record with a 5-0 resume in the UFC.

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