UFC fans have been in disbelief ever since UFC announced that UFC 279 will be headlined by Nate Diaz against Khamzat Chimaev. Many were quick to call the card an attempt to extract star power from Diaz and imbue it into an easy to manage young star – Khamzat Chimaev.
But even with the heavy duty main event mismatch there are other glaring issues – for one the card completely lack star power despite the fact it’s a PPV event.
MMA veteran Chael Sonnen blasted the pay-per-view in his remarks. He said:
“I do not know a single human that’s on the card… Why is that? A pay-per-view with no number one contender’s bout and no championship match… If they lose their main event, you lose the entire event which would come back to what I was going to say about Jorge Masvidal, to put him in that position. Jorge appears to be wanting to fight and he’s not getting one. Masvidal is a massive star and he’s not getting matched up.”
On the other side, the UFC on ESPN card that will follow the event is loaded with good matchups. The card will be headlined by Ciryl Gane and Tai Tuivasa.
Of course the choice to load the September 3rd card with quality match ups isn’t that baffling when we consider this would be the first time UFC would hold an event in France.
MMA was illegal in France upto November of 2020. One of the UFC’s biggest stars today, Francis Ngannou became a martial artist under modified rules under which MMA has existed in France since it was banned in 2016.
“We know that it is just political,” repeated N’Gannou in 2017. “But [the government] are refusing us the benefits of our work and that makes it so difficult for us to live.”
Regardless of that, it’s truly absurd that UFC will be trying to make the fanbase cough up $74.99 for a main event of Diaz vs Chimaev and basically nothing else.