UFC 279 has turned into one of the most controversial and confusing events ever, with Kevin Holland in the eye of the storm. Following the main event cancelation, it seems Khamzat Chimaev could be set to face Kevin Holland, but it comes with conditions.
‘Borz’ was all set to face Nate Diaz and skyrocket his value to the very top with a win this weekend. Surprising to most, he missed weight by a large margin, forcing the bout to be scrapped. A win over the younger Diaz brother could have potentially earned the prospect a shot at welterweight gold, but that could be off the table.
With bouts having to get changed just one day before the event, rumors were matching Khamzat Chimaev with Kevin Holland, but ‘Trailblazer’ took to social media to provide his terms to the promotion in order for him to accept the fight.
“New fight terms. I’m only taking the fight [against Khamzat Chimaev] if it’s [the] main event and it’s five rounds. Other than that, I’m not fighting.”
As things stand, Chimaev will not compete at UFC 279. However, with countless fans tuning in to watch the Russian-born athlete, it seems likely that the company will do everything in their power to keep him on the card.
If everything goes to plan, a complete shuffle between the three welterweight matchups looks set to take place. Nate Diaz will face Tony Ferguson, Kevin Holland will clash with Khamzat Chimaev, and Daniel Rodriguez will compete against Li Jingliang to see who has the better standup game between the two of them.
What does a win over Khamzat Chimaev mean for Kevin Holland?
If the UFC manages to come to an agreement with the fighters and finalize the bout, Kevin Holland will be in the position of a lifetime to jump over the entire 170lb division.
Currently unranked at welterweight, the 29-year-old could stand across the octagon from the #3-ranked Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279, which could change the entire landscape of the weightclass.
While Holland has the chance to leapfrog the division, stepping into the cage against the Swede could be one of the worst stylistic matchups he could find himself in.
The elite-level freestyle wrestling, constant forward pressure, and incredible cardio of Chimaev will pose a serious problem for the fan-favorite welterweight. Although he has been working on his defensive grappling, the Texas-resident may not have anywhere near the experience required to compete against the 28-year-old.