UFC rising star Khamzat Chimaev is ranked No. 3 in the welterweight division, but failed to make weight at UFC 279 forcing a last-minute reshuffling of the fight card.
The undefeated Chimaev (12-0) has fought as a middleweight inside the octagon. In his two official middleweight bouts, Chimaev earned ‘Performance of the Night’ bonuses.
He was scheduled to face Nate Diaz in the UFC 279 main event, but tipped the scales 7.5 pounds over the allotted welterweight limit. He was removed from the Diaz matchup and placed against Kevin Holland. He dominated Holland, scoring a first-round finish.
Chimaev missing weight for a main event bout again is a nightmare situation for the fight promotion. What division to book Chimaev a fight in has been debated inside the UFC headquarters war-room.
“There’s obviously the 170 and 185 pounds. There was a big beef today at matchmaking whether he could make 170 pounds. Whether we should even let him make 170 pounds again. Those are all the things that we’re kicking around right now,” White said during the Dana White’s Contender Series Post-fight press conference on Tuesday.
White doesn’t care which weight class Chimaev competes in. He just wants Chimaev to choose the division that he believes is best for him.
“I’m in the middle. I’m in the what does he want to do? Where does he want to be and what does he want to do,” White said. “Does he want to make 170 and go for the title at 170, or does he want to go to 185 and go for the title there?”
UFC matchmakers have been in discussion with Chimaev representatives about what weight class best suits “Borz.” The UFC president has been part of those conversations.
“That was the big debate that we had today in the matchmaking meeting. One guy said one thing. One guy said another thing. And then I said, ‘what does he really want?’ Somebody get in there and figure out what he really wants to do. Let’s figure it out and let’s make a fight,” White said.