Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
Khamzat Chimaev finished a turbulent weekend on a positive note with a first-round submission win over Kevin Holland in the co-main event of UFC 279 from Las Vegas.
The action was fast and furious from the start, as Chimaev immediately jumped on a takedown attempt at the opening bell, and Holland was forced to scramble just to survive.
While he was successful for a bit, the inevitability of Chimaev was too much. He latched on to a D’Arce choke, and while it had to be reapplied a few times, he locked it in and drew the tap from Holland.
The win keeps Chimaev from a disastrous weekend, but it’s hard to consider him a winner all things considered. Chimaev was given a golden opportunity to show off his skills against a relatively big draw in Nate Diaz as the headliner.
Instead, he was relegated to fighting Holland after weighing 7.5 pounds over the 171-pound allowance in the welterweight division.
UFC President Dana White shed some light on why Chimaev missed weight so badly.
“He was very, very lean already, and he should have come in on weight,” White told reporters. “He started to cut weight, and he started locking up and cramping and all the things that happen from a bad cut.”
Regardless, Chimaev kept his winning streak alive despite the last-minute opponent change.
It does open up questions about what happens next for the 28-year-old. Chimaev seemed like a lock for a title shot with a win at UFC 279, but now there’s the question of whether he can continue making the cut down to 170 pounds.
This is the first time he has missed weight in the UFC, but at 6’2″, he’s a big welterweight.
As long as he can prove this was a one-time fluke, he’s likely to continue his ascent as a UFC star.