Welcome to today’s edition of Sportskeeda’s daily MMA news digest, where we feature the biggest UFC updates and other stories from the world of mixed martial arts.
In the latest issue, we talk about the UFC brass who saved the day after the weight loss debacle, Dana White being accused of “scripting” this week’s events, and more.
#3. Dana White Didn’t Save The Day, Hunter Campbell Did – Ariel Helwani
The MMA media all praised Dana White for saving the UFC 279 card with a last-minute shakeup. However, veteran MMA reporter Ariel Helwani said fans have Hunter Campbell to thank for the same.
In a tweet posted after Nate Diaz vs. Tony Ferguson was announced as the UFC 279 headliner, Helwani clarified that Campbell was the “UFC MVP” who deserved credit for saving the card:
“The UFC MVP who saved that card wasn’t Dana White. Don’t listen to the media telling that story. It was Hunter Campbell. He saved it for them and deserves the credit.”
Hunter Campbell is the promotion’s business manager and former legal liaison, who previously served as executive vice president and general counsel.
#2. ‘UFC is the new WWE’ – Fans accuse Dana White of writing card change
Disappointed fans have every reason to say that the map reshuffle was planned by the promotion.
First, Dana White shocked the MMA community by willingly announcing Tony Ferguson vs. Li Jingliang at a press conference. After that, Khamzat Chimaev built a feud with Nate Diaz to start a backstage altercation with Kevin Holland before the press conference. Finally, ‘Borz’ not only came in at 7.5lbs over the welterweight mark and didn’t seem moved, but he won’t be fined for the same and will face Kevin Holland at a weight catches 180 pounds tonight.
Meanwhile, Nate Diaz gets the farewell he deserves with a fight against fellow veteran Tony Ferguson. As Dana White often says, “Vince McMahon couldn’t have written a better screenplay than this.”
Fans obviously expressed their doubts about the “perfect shot” the promotion pulled off.
Read more tweets here.
#1. Khamzat Chimaev seen dining out the night before UFC 279 weight loss
After his “gangster” talk all week, Khamzat Chimaev ended up losing 7.5 pounds in weigh-ins. MMA pundits and fans alike were surprised by his lack of remorse for not beating the scales for the biggest fight of his career so far.
It seems that Chimaev’s nonchalance was present even before the weigh-ins.
Khabib Nurmagomedov superfan Kylie Meade, often referred to as “Mini Khabib”, noticed Chimaev in a restaurant for hours, eating and sipping sparkling water, the day before the weigh-ins. She speculated that this could have contributed to ‘Borz’ rising well above the welterweight mark.
Read Meade’s statement below:
“I ran into Khamzat Chimaev. He was hanging out in a restaurant for hours drinking sparkling water and [potentially] eat the day before the weigh-in and now Khamzat is unfortunately missing the weight by 8 pounds. I was worried all night about it when I saw him. I hope the fight still happens tomorrow, Khamzat was super nice to me and the fans but I thought it was so weird to see him not worrying about water consumption and possibly eating out for a few hours before weighing. #ufc279”
Due to the unprecedented circumstances, Nate Diaz will now face Tony Ferguson for the headliner, while Khamzat Chimaev will face Kevin Holland at wrestling weight in the co-main event.