Khamzat Chimaev should’ve been pulled from UFC 279

Conor McGregor isn’t a fan of how the UFC handled Khamzat Chimaev.

When Chimaev missed weight by 7.5 pounds Friday for his scheduled Welterweight headliner at UFC 279, it put not only the fight but seemingly the event itself in jeopardy. UFC president Dana White, chief business officer Hunter Campbell and the UFC brass spent all day trying to salvage the situation.

What they came up with – and got every fighter involved to agree to – was a complete reshuffle of the top three bouts as Diaz will now meet Tony Ferguson in the night’s headliner. Chimaev is set to fight Kevin Holland at a 180-pound catchweight in the co-main event. And Li Jingiliang, who was supposed to meet Ferguson, will fight Daniel Rodriguez, who was supposed to fight Holland.

All of that for one man’s blunder – Chimaev. But McGregor believes the UFC should’ve provided a Stern punishment by pulling him and is sending the wrong message to him by keeping him on the card to fight Holland (via Twitter):

My opinion they should have pulled khamzat from the card entirely. Reconfiguring bouts, and with a more favorable bout for the failed cutter, will only make many others in the game follow suit. The smirks are on the scale where enough for me. Pull from the card and starve. McG UFC.

Chimaev has been completely unapologetic about missing weight, flipping off the media while on the scale during official weigh-ins and then giving a double middle finger to fans who booed him during the UFC 279 ceremonial weigh-ins Friday.

McGregor, 34, has never missed weight in 14 UFC Appearances dating back to the start of his promotional tenure in 2013.

UFC 279 takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card Streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view following prelims on ESPNews and ESPN+.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 279.

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