The co-main event of UFC 279 will feature a catchweight (180 lbs.) fight between Khamzat Chimaev (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) and Kevin Holland (23-7 MMA, 10-4 UFC). UFC 279: Diaz vs. Ferguson airs live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday, September 10th. The main card will start with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT, with the ESPNews/ESPN+ prelims beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT and the early prelims kicking off at 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT.
How do these two stack up?
Chimaev: 28 years old | 6’2” | 75” reach
Holland: 29 years old | 6’3” | 81” reach
What have these two done recently?
Chimaev: W - Gilbert Burns (DEC) | W - Li Jingliang (SUB) | W - Gerald Meerschaert (KO)
Holland: W - Tim Means (SUB) | W - Alex Oliveira (TKO) | NC - Kyle Daukaus (NC)
How did these two get here?
Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland were the catalysts of the now-infamous incident that canceled the pre-fight press conference for UFC 279 on Thursday. It was no surprise to hear ‘Borz’ and the ‘Trailblazer’ involved in some sort of skirmish, considering their history of going back and forth online and in-person. That said, there was no indication that a fight between Chimaev and Holland would get booked. Hell, Chimaev’s coach Andreas Michael poured cold water on the idea of them ever sharing the Octagon, saying the out-of-cage shenanigans would not get Holland the fight.
Until they did.
When Chimaev stepped onto the scales and weighed in at 178.5 pounds, his original fight with Nate Diaz was doomed. And once it was canceled, the UFC was forced to reshuffle the top half of the pay-per-view event, which meant the undefeated upstart would receive a new opponent. That opponent was none other than Holland, who successfully weighed in at 179.5 pounds for his short-notice fight against Daniel Rodriguez. With everything that happened in the past two days (and the past two years), it made sense to have these two settle their differences, and here we are.
Why should you care?
This is a straightforward fight on paper, right? Going up against one of the best wrestlers in the division with meager wrestling defense is a recipe for disaster, but Chimaev vs. Holland should still be a fun fight for as long as it lasts.