Dana White has admitted that the initial main event match involving Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz at UFC 279 would have ended badly had it taken place.
Most MMA fans knew what the script was when the match was first announced to headline the UFC 279 card. Chimaev was expected to arrive and destroy Diaz, dampening the value behind the legend who had provided fans with many memorable moments during his UFC tenure.
Fortunately, that was not the case. Chimaev would eventually miss the weight by 7.5 pounds, which would lead to a card reshuffle allowing Nate Diaz to face fellow veteran Tony Ferguson in a much more fitting main event. In what many believed was an incident that saw the quality of the card improve, even UFC President Dana White is starting to share that sentiment.
Dana White talks about the reality of what could have been with Nate Diaz vs. Khamzat Chimaev
Speaking on the Action Junkeez podcast, White admitted how bad the original match for Diaz would have been had it happened.
“After watching the fight you realize Khamzat vs. Nate Diaz would have been f****** – it wouldn’t have been good. Khamzat, I know the fans got pissed at him for not gaining weight and stuff, but Jesus fucking Christ. What he went out and did to Kevin Holland – did you see Kevin Holland posting the pic the other day that his eyes were all red from the fucking chokehold? I mean, damn it. said Dana White.
Chimaev has been able to fight his way through nearly every opponent since joining the promotion and given where both men are at in their respective careers, you could have been fairly certain he would have continued that trend. with Diaz.
Instead, the reshuffle saw Chimaev take on a rejuvenated Kevin Holland who had picked up two wins since moving up to the welterweight division. Although he now faces a tougher test in Holland, Chimaev was able to show his dominance and dispatch his opponent in the first round. Now, when many expected ‘Borz’ to emerge victorious, Dana White has put an end to claims that people expected him to do so in such spectacular fashion.
“[People were saying,] “Yeah, that’s what I expected. No you fucking didn’t,” White said. “If you’re really honest in saying you expected Khamzat f****** to destroy Kevin Holland, you’re lying. There is simply no way. Kevin Holland is a bad ***** mother. (Transcribed by MMAFighting)
It’s unclear where Chimaev’s future will lie after posting all but confirmation of his entry into the middleweight division on his social media, but it’s almost certain that wherever he ends up you can expect that it provides the same level of entertainment.
Do you agree with Dana White’s comments on the originally scheduled UFC 279 main event?