Dana White has admitted that the initial main event matchup involving Khamzat Chimaev, and Nate Diaz at UFC 279 would have ended poorly had it gone ahead.
Most MMA followers knew what the script was when the matchup was first announced to headline the UFC 279 card. Chimaev was expected to come in and destroy Diaz dampening the value behind the legend who had provided fans with many memorable moments during his UFC tenure.
Thankfully, this was not the case. Chimaev would ultimately miss weight by a staggering 7.5 pounds resulting in a reshuffling of the card 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 beginning to share that sentiment.
Dana White speaks on the reality of what could have been with Nate Diaz vs Khamzat Chimaev
Speaking on The Action Junkeez Podcast, White admitted just how badly the original matchup for Diaz would have played out had it gone ahead.
“After you watch the fight, you realize Khamzat vs. Nate Diaz would have been f****** — that wouldn’t have been good. Khamzat, I know the fans got pissed at him for not making weight and everything else, but Jesus f****** Christ. What he went out and did to Kevin Holland — did you see Kevin Holland post the picture the other day that his eyes were all red from the f****** choke? I mean, holy s***.” Dana White said.
Chimaev has been able to steamroll his way through nearly all of his opponents since joining the promotion and given where the two men are at in their respective careers, you could have been fairly certain he would have continued this trend with Diaz.
Instead, the reshuffle saw Chimaev take on the rejuvenated Kevin Holland who had picked up two victories since dropping into the welterweight division. Despite now facing a tougher test in Holland, Chimaev was able to show his dominance and dispatch his opponent inside the first round. Now whilst many people expected ‘Borz’ to emerge victorious Dana White has shut down claims that people expected him to do it in such spectacular fashion.
“[People were saying,] ‘Yeah, that’s what I expected.’ No, you f****** didn’t,” White said. “If you really are honest in saying that you expected Khamzat to f****** destroy Kevin Holland, you’re lying. There’s just no way. Kevin Holland is a bad motherf*****.” (Transcribed by MMAFighting)
It is uncertain where Chimaev’s future will lie after he posted on his social media all but confirming his entry into the middleweight division, but it is almost certain wherever he ends up you can expect him to provide the same level of entertainment.
Do you agree with Dana White’s comments on the originally scheduled UFC 279 main event?