Due to main eventer Khamzat Chimaev missing weight by 7.5 pounds Friday, the card for Saturday's UFC 279 has changed drastically.
Nate Diaz will remain in the main event but will now fight former interim UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson instead at 170 pounds. The fight will be five rounds.
Diaz was set to face rising star Khamzat Chimaev in the main event, but Chimaev missing the welterweight limit so badly prevented that from happening. As of this writing, it's unclear why he missed so badly. This was to be his first-ever pay-per-view main event.
Ariel Helwani reported that former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier was asked by the UFC to fight Diaz and accepted with a pilot/jet on standby. However, they chose to go another route.
Chimaev will remain on the card and will face Kevin Holland instead in another five round fight. Holland and Chimaev have been building up a rivalry on social media in recent months and got into a skirmish Thursday -- one of two that resulted in media day being canceled.
Ferguson was set to face Li Jingliang in a welterweight co-main event. Jingliang will now face Daniel Rodriguez who was set to face Holland in a 180-pound catchweight fight.
This is the final fight on Diaz's UFC contract. Had he chosen not to fight, there was speculation the "sunset clause" on his deal would given him his contractual freedom anyway.