UFC 279 was marketed as more or less an assassination attempt on the legacy on Nate Diaz. After denying Diaz the opportunity to clash with Poirier, Luque, Ferguson or any other similar veteran the UFC had matched him with their latest rising star – wrestler Khamzat Chimaev.
The card fell through due to the fact Chimaev was unable to make the contractual weight and was instead matched with always fun but never good at wrestling Kevin Holland. Chimaev proceeded to ragdoll Holland from the opening seconds of the round and finish in just over a minute.
Sean O’Malley went in-depth on the UFC 279 pandemonium, including Khamzat Chimaev’s perplexing weight-miss that necessitated a last-minute rearranging of the main event.
“He’s a problem at 170 and 185. don’t know why he doesn’t just go up to 85. If he’s as good as he says he is, which he is.”
“The first time, didn’t he do the towel thing? Missed weight, but did the towel and lost five pounds real quick. Then comes in and misses weight. The thing is, he said he could have made weight. Do we believe that or no?”
“I’ve never had a doctor come in and say, ‘Hey, how’s the weight cut going?’ Cause if they do and they see you two hours before weigh-ins and you’re sitting in the hot tub, they’ll be like, ‘Oh, sh*t.’ They don’t just come in an look. They don’t check on you. “
Sean O’Malley responded when questioned about his personal weight-cutting experience that it can be downright frightful, adding to the discussion about Khamzat Chimaev’s controversial weight-cutting practices.
O’Malley remarked, “You feel like you’re body, the last couple minutes in the hot tub or in the hot bath, your heart rate’s high. You feel like you’re dying. If you close your eyes too long, you gotta open your eyes to make sure you’re alive. It’s scary.”
“Cutting weight is f*cking scary so I’m sure if a doctor came in and checked on you, he’d probably be like, ‘yeah, you can’t make weight.’ So I don’t know what happened. It was so weird. I wish we knew the exact details behind that because he said the doctor’s made him start drinking water.”
O’Malley continued, “I don’t know if there was a language barrier there or if he’s just not smart. What do you want to see in a superstar? You want to see him fight. Be active. You want to see him make weight. I mean, those are pretty simple things.”
Of course O’malley is not alone in his line of thinking. UFC veteran Josh Thomson also believes Chimaev lacks MMA IQ.
”Chimaev used a lot of energy in those first initial takedowns,” Thomson said on his “Weighing In” podcast.
“And even the commentary team was saying he’s breathing heavy.”
“And what are you gonna do if you burn your gas, if you burn the candle on both ends?”
“He’s got a lot of great gifts. FightIQ is not one of them.”
This take was disputed by both Chase Hooper and Dana White. While Hooper reacted on twitter saying:
“Imagine trying to argue that a guy who has absorbed zero strikes in multiple UFC fights doesn’t have FightIQ…
(I’m not the biggest Khamzat fan, but objectively he knows how to win)”
Dana White was peculiarly enthusiastic about Khamzat despite both the weight miss and the cancelled presser.