The UFC returns to PPV with UFC 279 on Saturday, September 10 from the T-Mobile Arena on the strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main event was originally scheduled to feature a welterweight grudge match between top contender Khamzat Chimaev and veteran fan favorite Nate Diaz. However, Chimaev showed up overweight to the weigh-in and was bumped down the card.
Diaz will now face Tony Ferguson in a welterweight bout and Chimaev will face Kevin Holland in a middleweight bout. The main card will feature five fights with a start time of 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
Chimaev (11-0) is the No. 3 ranked welterweight in the world and was a -1050 betting favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook over Diaz. Against Holland he is a -520 favorite. Chimaev has won 10 of his 11 fights by stoppage. He has been dominant since entering the UFC with four stoppages and four “Performance of the Night” bonuses for his efforts. In his last fight at UFC 273 on April 9, Chimaev finally got a taste of top-five opposition in Gilbert Burns.
The fight was arguably the most anticipated on the card and through one round it looked like another strong Chimaev performance. He knocked Burns down a couple of times and looked in control. But the second round told a different story. Burns, a former No. 1 welterweight contender, fought and turned the fight into a epic battle between two gladiators.
With Chimaev getting knocked down for the first time in his pro career, Burns tied the fight on the scorecards. The third round was another battle of wills, but Chimaev connected more down the stretch with his leg kicks and straight rights. It was all enough to win a unanimous decision, 29-28, on all three cards. The fight won “Fight of the Night” honors with both men getting $50,000 bonuses.