McGregor echoed the irritation with Chimaev’s behavior on the scale at the official weigh-ins, where he missed weight by 7.5 pounds for a now-cancelled fight with Nate Diaz, and said that if he were running the UFC, the 28-year-old star wouldn’t fight on Saturday night.
“My opinion they should have pulled khamzat [sic] from the card entirely,” McGregor wrote on Twitter. “Reconfiguring bouts, and with a more favorable bout for the failed cutter, will only make many others in the game follow suit.
“The smirks on the scale where [sic] enough for me. Pull from the card and starve. McG UFC.”
My opinion they should have pulled khamzat from the card entirely. Reconfiguring bouts, and with a more favorable bout for the failed cutter, will only make many others in the game follow suit. The smirks on the scale where enough for me. Pull from the card and starve. McG UFC.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 10, 2022
Chimaev’s weight miss was the catalyst for a massive shuffle at the top of Saturday’s pay-per-view event at T-Mobile Arena. He now faces Kevin Holland, whom he allegedly fought backstage before the event’s press conference, while Diaz faces Tony Ferguson.
As a result of the shuffle, Ferguson’s original opponent, Li Jingliang, now faces Daniel Rodriguez, who originally was set to meet Holland in a 180-pound catchweight fight. Jingliang gives up a significant size disadvantage to Rodriguez after cutting down to 170.5 pounds while Rodriguez clocked in at 179.
Chimaev blamed his weight miss on the decision of a UFC-appointed doctor, who determined he couldn’t lose any more bulk. UFC President Dana White said the Chechen fighter complained of cramping and other weight-cut related ailments before the doctor’s evaluation.
When he took the stage for the ceremonial weigh-ins for UFC 279, Chimaev was roundly booed by the crowd.
For Diaz, the fight with Chimaev serves as the final obligation of his current contract with the UFC after a long and drama-filled period in his career. When he stepped onto the stage, he sent the audience into a frenzy by blasting Chimaev.
McGregor praised Diaz, his two-time opponent, for the undoubtedly favorable turn of events. He also welcomed a trilogy with the Stockton, Calif., star after their blockbuster meetings at UFC 196 and UFC 202.
“Congrats Nate Diaz on making it to the end of his contractual obligations with the UFC, and as a bonafide superstar goer,” he wrote. “An incredible feat. Fair play.
“Our trilogy will happen.”
Congrats Nate Diaz on making it to the end of his contractual obligations with the UFC, and as a bonafide superstar goer. An incredible feat. Fair play.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 10, 2022
Our trilogy will happen.
Before inking a fight with Chimaev, Diaz believed the UFC wanted to hold him under contract for the trilogy with McGregor. Unfortunately, he said he didn’t want to wait for the former two-division champion to rebuild himself after back-to-back losses and sought to be released from contract.