Following an egregious weight miss by Khamzat Chimaev that saw the welterweight contender come in 7.5 pounds heavy on Friday, Chimaev is out of his scheduled headlining bout with Diaz that was to take place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Ferguson steps in as Chimaev’s replacement and the bout will proceed as a five-round contest.
Chimaev, who officially weighed in at 178.5 pounds, now fights Kevin Holland in a 180-pound catchweight bout in the co-main event, which will also be contested over five rounds. Holland weighed in at 179.5 pounds for a scheduled catchweight bout with Daniel Rodriguez.
With those shifts, Rodriguez now fights Li Jingliang in another 180-pound catchweight bout, a somewhat awkward situation given that Rodriguez weighed in at 179 pounds on Friday while Li came in at 170.5.
Li was originally scheduled to fight Ferguson at welterweight in the co-main event. The former interim lightweight champion successfully weighed in at 171 pounds for his welterweight return. Diaz also weighed in at 171 pounds.
Diaz and Ferguson both seek their first win since 2019. In his most recent outing, Diaz lost a unanimous decision to Leon Edwards at UFC 263, while Ferguson is coming off of a Knockout of the Year loss to Michael Chandler at UFC 274.
The changes to the main event and main card come a day after Diaz, Chimaev, and others were involved in a backstage melee that led to the cancellation of a scheduled UFC 279 press conference.
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