Chimaev was originally scheduled to fight Nate Diaz in the UFC 279 main event, but he was moved to a bout with Holland (who was originally scheduled to fight Daniel Rodriguez) after missing weight by 7.5 pounds at Friday’s official weigh-ins. Entering Saturday’s event, Chimaev was No. 3 at 170 pounds in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings.
“Borz” hasn’t tasted defeat in his pro career, winning all 11 of his pro bouts including his first five UFC fights. None of Chimaev’s first four opponents made it past the second round, but he faced a stiff test in his most recent bout against Gilbert Burns at UFC 273. The two threw down in one of the year’s best fights and Chimaev walked out with a unanimous decision win over the one-time UFC welterweight title challenger.
After angling for a bout with Chimaev since 2021, Holland gets his wish. The former middleweight is 2-0 since moving to welterweight, with back-to-back second-round finishes of veterans Tim Means and Alex Oliveira. At 185 pounds, Holland picked up notable wins over Ronaldo Souza, Joaquin Buckley, and Gerald Meerschaert.
Check out the UFC 279 live blog below.