Khamzat Chimaev's coach explained what led to a backstage brawl prior to the scheduled UFC 279 press conference on Thursday:
Andreas Michael said Chimaev was alone with Kevin Holland and his group backstage before Chimaev hit Holland with a "boot in the chest," and then Nate Diaz and his team got involved:
The melee caused the cancellation of the press conference, and UFC president Dana White later called the situation a "complete s--tshow," per ESPN's Marc Raimondi.
Saturday's UFC 279 card had been scheduled to be headlined by a fight between Chimaev and Diaz, with Holland on the undercard against Daniel Rodriguez.
As reported by Raimondi, however, Chimaev weighed in 7.5 pounds over the 171-pound limit on Friday, putting his clash with Diaz in jeopardy.
Ariel Helwani of BT Sport followed up by reporting that Chimaev missing weight was due to a "medical issue," although further specifics were not available.
Holland, who made weight for his bout, trolled Chimaev on Twitter after the undefeated Russian star weighed in well over the welterweight limit:
Michael suggested that Holland was attempting to goad Chimaev into an eventual fight on Thursday, but insisted that Chimaev would not take a fight with him since he wants to fight champions and not fighters he feels are below him.
Ironically, Helwani reported that because of the weight issue, UFC's preference is to pivot and have Diaz face Tony Ferguson in the main event with Chimaev dropping down to fight Holland.
While there would undoubtedly be interest in Chimaev vs. Holland following their tussle, Helwani noted that "some are in" and "some aren't" when it comes to the potential adjustments.