UFC 279 card got shuffled hard following weigh-in scandal featuring a grossly oversized Khamzat Chimaev. After intense negotiations the entire main card was re-arranged.
Both Chimaev and UFC President Dana White insisted that the issue was with the medical doctor who had told Chimaev he couldn’t cut further weight at 4am the day of weigh ins.
Khamzat Chimaev was reportedly shaking, vomiting, and fainting out while attempting to lose weight. Chimaev received a lot of flak for falling short by seven pounds.
UFC president Dana White explained that allegedly due to health reasons, Chimaev wasn’t allowed to continue cutting weight by the doctors.
“If you saw him yesterday, he was very lean already and he should have come in on weight. He started to cut weight and he started locking up and cramping and all the things that are from a bad cut. Unlike 10 years ago, we send in a doctor and they determine whether he will keep cutting weight and the doctor told him he shouldn’t.” White told ESPN.
Chimaev himself was questioned by Rogan during the octagon interview.
“I’m supposed to make that weight as well but doctor stop me. Nobody can stop me, if I die, I die in the cage. I didn’t come here and make my weight I died in my bed I can’t die in the cage…”
White also doubled down on medical team stopped it story after the event saying.
“That’s a problem that he missed weight. We got to we got to look at it and figure it out. And, you know, what makes sense is for him to be at 180lbs So we’ll see”
Chimaev ended up facing Kevin Holland in the co-main event, which he easily won. Andreas Michael, Chimaev’s trainer ossibly poked holes in the widely accepted narrative.
He said to the MMA Hour:
“He was getting muscle spasms, shaking, vomiting. When he stood up he was passing out. I was worried about him. Ever since he got coronavirus and all these health issues, he’s had a little bit of a hard time making the weight.”
“Ever since that issue, his body has been a little bit off when it comes down to pushing it to the last drop. But I’m just speculating. Like I said, I’m not a physician, I’m not a doctor or anything like that, and I don’t claim to be one.”
“I told [Chimaev], ‘F*** this, your health is number one.’ ‘That’s why we called the physician. We were thinking, ‘Forget about the fight. Is he alright? ‘ Cutting weight is very dangerous for the body if you push too hard, and I just wanted him to be OK. “
“I thought to myself, ‘OK, if this means that I’m going to risk his health, then I’ve got to make an executive decision and I’ve got to be a leader and do what’s best for him.”
“I talked to the doctor, and I asked him, ‘What do you think?’. The doctor told me, ‘Listen, I don’t advise that you continue cutting weight.’”
Chimaev missed weight severely and has previously struggled to weigh in at 170 pounds. However, his coach is certain that he still has a bright future at both welterweight and middleweight.
“His whole career he’s been fighting at welterweight. He’s missed weight this time, but it’s not as if he’s been missing weight all the time.”
“Of course, he’s been having a hard time making weight, but he’s always made weight. The point of the thing is that we’re going to make it easier and fight at middleweight some of the fights, but we’re game for welterweight as well.”
“We’re not going to lose our ranking there, hopefully, because we’re so close to a title fight there. Once we take the belt there, we’re going to pursue the middleweight division with all our hearts.”
“Right now, some fights are going to be at middleweight, some are going to be at middleweight, worthwhile fights. But that’s up to the UFC, of course, that’s not up to us.”
Michael continued by acknowledging that the weight loss process had not been managed correctly at first and that more should have been done sooner.
“We started this camp heavy. That’s what the problem was as well. We got an offer to fight Nate Diaz, and it was earlier than this in August. It was too soon because he was heavy.”
“Then they moved it 10 days up, and I believe we just started too heavy this camp. We should have had a little more discipline and held our weight to a reasonable level, to a reasonable weight close to the one that he’s training at and going into camp. That’s basically about it.”
Michael also acknowledged Chimaev’s lack of professionalism and offered an apology to Diaz. “We can find a lot of reasons and excuses and all this. At the end of the day — I’m not slagging off Khamzat, he’s a magnificent fighter and I love him to death — but what I’m saying is that it was absolutely unprofessional from our side not to make weight. “
“Anyone who doesn’t make weight is unprofessional, absolutely. I want to [apologize] to Nate’s camp for that. We should have both made weight, and there are no excuses.”
It would be fascinating to watch what Chimaev does next because Dana White is now unsure of whether he can still compete at welterweight.