Chimaev badly misses weight for UFC 279 main event vs. Diaz

UFC president Dana White speaks at a news conference in New York. (Julio Cortez/AP)

Khamzat Chimaev has missed weight for the main event at UFC 279, coming in 7 1/2 pounds over the welterweight limit and throwing his showdown with Nate Diaz into doubt.

Chimaev, the Chechen-born Swede considered one of mixed martial arts' top rising stars, weighed 178.5 pounds Friday morning at the UFC Apex Gym in Las Vegas. That's far over the non-title weight limit of 171 pounds.

The UFC didn't immediately announce whether Diaz or Chimaev will stay on the pay-per-view card, either in two new bouts or against each other at a catchweight that would mean an enormous boost in pay for the 37-year-old Diaz.

Chimaev shrugged his shoulders and smiled when told of his weight — and moments later, he posted a joking meme about missing weight on his Twitter account.

The entire week in Las Vegas has featured strange behavior from the 28-year-old Chimaev. He reportedly got into a physical fight with undercard fighter Kevin Holland before the UFC 279 news conference on Thursday, forcing the promotion to scrap the event.

Diaz could be offered a replacement fight with fellow veteran welterweight Tony Ferguson, who is scheduled to fight Li Jingliang at UFC 279. Ferguson made weight Friday morning.

There are three Canadians on the card: Calgary featherweight (Mean) Hakeem Dawodu, bantamweight Chad (The Monster) Anheliger of Airdrie, Alta., and Montreal welterweight Yohan (White Lion) Lainesse.

Dawodu (13-2-1) takes on American Julian (Juicy J) Erosa (27-9-0) while Anheliger (12-5-0) faces China's Heili (The Mongolian Knight) Alateng (15-8-2) and Lainesse (8-2-0) meets American Darian Weeks (5-2-0).

Dwodu missed the non-title featherweight limit of 146 pounds, weighing in at 149.5 pounds. A portion of his purse will go to Erosa as a result.

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