Hot Tweets: Fallout from UFC 279, Khamzat Chimaev’s weight miss, and what’s next for Nate Diaz


It would appear everyone is still very interested in the fallout from UFC 279.

It shouldn’t surprise me, considering that the last week of MMA was chaotic. But I got more questions than ever for this segment, and so, in an effort to answer as many as possible while still keeping this shorter than a Melville novel, we’re going to jump right into things and talk about Khamzat Chimaev, Nate Diaz, what’s next, and even a little UFC Vegas 60 talk at the end.

What’s next for Khamzat Chimaev?

As Nike and Tiger Woods once stated, “Winning takes care everything.” While the UFC may have preferred that Chimaev lose weight and dehydrate Nate Diaz as well, there is a reason why they changed things to ensure he got a fight. He’s the next big thing. It doesn’t matter how you feel about it, that guy is one of best fighters around the globe, and he will be a champion. So they’re only going to get so mad.

As far as where he will go next, it won’t be for a title shot. Off the top of my head ,I don’t believe a fighter has ever gotten a title shot after missing weight, especially not so egregiously. The UFC instead does the same thing it has done many times: It gives him another fight at welterweight to show he is capable of making the weight. He makes weight, clobbers whoever he’s facing, and then fights the winner next summer. Easy game.


Nope. Although it is possible to argue that he was denied the chance to increase his star power through beating Nate’s, even this seems improbable. He probably did gain some starpower, but not in important ways. Although Chimaev’s last-week’s mishap made him more famous, it will not make anyone pay extra to see him fight. That’s what really matters.

Many people believe Chimaev’s heel turn will be a good thing for the brand, and make him more desirable, however, I am skeptical. We haven’t seen anyone do the “heel turning where people hate you” in MMA. It’s very difficult to do. A second problem is the fact that almost any fighter in MMA has been supported by a serious competitor. Based on his fights, I’m not sure when Chimaev might find one.

The biggest problem with Chimaev is his lack of charismatic charm. Don’t believe me? Take a look at his interviews. It’s one thing to have a gimmick and do it post-fight when the most eyes are on you. But outside of his whole “I’ll kill everyone!” stuff, there ain’t a lot of depth to that water. That’s okay! Many athletes can be dull, but winning fights is not enough to make you a star. That will limit Chimaev’s appeal beyond his own sport.

Fatal flaw

Yes, but not in the way you’re referring to with Jon Jones. At least, I hope not.

Based purely on the talent, skill, and physical gifts of Chimaev, I would be flabbergasted if he never won a title. At this point in his career, he is the most remarkable fighter I have ever seen. In five of six UFC fights, he has delivered flawless shutouts. This is unheard-of! Chimaev is beating top-level competition the same way Bo Nickal wrecks random 2-0 fighters on Contender Series. I cannot stress this enough: that shouldn’t be possible. So when he fights for it, I’ll pick him and pick him up to defend the title until he loses. Eventually he will lose, because everyone does (except Khabib). It is difficult to be a dominating fighter for years. Eventually, you lose your edge, and then the game is lost. This happens to all of us, it’ll happen to you, too. We’re all our own worst enemy.

*I will not make any judgment on Jon Jones’ comparison. I can certainly see the parallels, and it wouldn’t totally shock me if Chimaev took a similar career turn (think of UFC 279 like the infamous Jones “are you there p****?” comment), but Jones’ struggles have seemed (at least to me) to speak to some deep-seated issues, while Chimaev mostly just came off like an ass this past weekend.

170 pounds

Well, the line wasn’t exactly around the block to fight this dude in the first place, but that had nothing to do with him missing weight or pulling out of the fight; it was because people didn’t want to get their asses kicked, and after UFC 279, there’s going to be a lot more of that, only under the guise of “he has weight issues.”

Look, I’m not here to excuse Chimaev coming in heavier than a newborn baby, but the speed with which the MMA community has Chicken Little’d this thing is staggering. It’s literally the first time he’s missed weight! And let’s not forget that Chimaev also made 170 pounds on the nose before, and made the welterweight limit when he fought Rhys McKee on 10 days notice, after fighting at middleweight in his UFC debut. It was an unfortunate miss but it happens. Let’s see if this is a recurring issue before we start demanding he leave the division.

As for who will fight him? Anybody can want the title. Chimaev is going to win the welterweight belt soon, and until then, the road to the next title shot runs through him. If a 170-pound fighter wants to go for gold, they’ll have to fight Chimaev, and plenty of them will be happy to do so.

Fantasy Matchmaking

A lot of people wanted to talk about Chimaev at middleweight, but I don’t want to spend too much time on that, so I pulled out these two to discuss the two most interesting fights to me. For what it’s really worth, Chimaev has Colby Covington as his next opponent. If Colby declines to fight, then the winner of Belal Muhammad against Sean Brady is the best option. *cough*).

Whittaker is probably the most interesting fight possible for Chimaev. Bobby Knuckles is an elite, elite defensive wrestler, lightning quick, and just one of the best all-around fighters in the world. I would be fascinated to see if Chimaev can still ragdoll Whittaker if he gets ahold of him, and if he could even grab him in the first place. Where I think Chimaev probably beats Israel Adesanya, Whittaker could definitely hand him an L.

As for Romero, God knows I love the Soldier, but he’s 45 years old and he doesn’t do anything in fights anymore. Yes, he’s the best athlete in the history of the sport, and an Olympic silver medalist. Romero wasn’t actually the greatest defensive MMA wrestler. And again, he does nothing! Chimaev does a whole lot of stuff, all the time. Romero can always find a big shot in the world, but Chimaev is able to outwork him.

Nate Diaz returning to the UFC

High. He’s Nate Diaz. He’s a bonafide star. They’d be stupid to not want him back, regardless of what happens in boxing. Diaz’s losses have not changed the public’s opinion of him. He actually feels that they enhance his charm. If the UFC offers to sign him again, it will. It is up to Nate if he wants to. It is unlikely that he will.

Next, Nate will be boxing Jake Paul. His earnings will exceed several millions of dollars. More than he ever made in the UFC. There may be a rematch or other fights that draw him attention outside of the UFC. We’ll have more details later. Nate is 37 years old. Let’s say he spends the next two years boxing, he’ll be pushing 40. Is it possible that after two years on his own doing what he likes and reaping the financial rewards, he will want to return to the UFC serfdom? They might back the money truck but I don’t see it. He’ll be able to buy his own money trucks by that time. But I guess you never can know for sure.

Nate Diaz lottery

*]Slimmest to none. BKFC is big on money and willing to give it away, but Nate has the ability to make more of his own. Maybe as a one-off, if they wrote him a blank check, but I’m not seeing it. Given his facial features, I doubt any of us will see it.

McGregor-Diaz 3

100 percent. That’s the end game. This has always been the case.

Conor and Nate, whatever their opinions on them as people or fighters may be, are both great businessmen. Nate wanted to quit the UFC, but there were more lucrative alternatives. Once he is free from the yoke of their control, he can make the most money. Conor also sees this.

The UFC’s contract with Conor is about to expire. He only has one or two fights left with the promotion, and once that’s over, you think he doesn’t want to box Jake Paul and make $50 million? You must be outside your mind. Conor is going to return, he’s going to fight out his contract, and then he’s going to leave to box as well. First, he’ll fight Paul, because that’s the biggest payday. It’s now time for the trilogy, baby! And this time, the UFC doesn’t get a cut of the profits. Why should the UFC give you pennies per dollar when they can get the lion’s share? (personally I believe that Eddie Hearn’s friendship to Dana White might take a hit at this point, just an hunch).

Tony Ferguson

The way Ariel Helwani enjoys steak. Well done.

Tony is fully cooked, man. There’s no other word for it. It’s all about him. He is old and slow. His endurance is decreasing. Even his cardio has changed. Father Time can be a savage, but it’s impossible to defeat him. He wins every time, and has easily defeated El Cucuy. I’m sure Tony does not want to hear this, but he isn’t planning on retiring. It’s his job, his life. He can do it as long as he pleases. But I hope he doesn’t plan on winning much, because that is not going to be happening.

Arnold Allen vs. Calvin Kattar

This explains why Alexander Volkanovski’s attempt to move up to light-weight is futile. There are many new featherweight contenders that Volko hasn’t defeated. Josh Emmett, Yair Rodriguez and the winner of this fight all are viable contenders. You can either clean out or leave your division. This is my opinion. Because while the winner of Allen-Kattar (*cough* Allen *cough*) deserves a title shot, no questions asked, they won’t get one. The winner of Rodriguez-Emmett will likely be their opponent. This is an excellent fight but it’s a **** situation for all four of them.

Cory Sandhagen vs. Song Yadong

*Probably not. But it is possible. I think Sandhagen is one of the five best bantamweights in the world currently, and he has a fun and dangerous style that makes him a difficult fight for a lot of guys. He’s lost to three other guys, so a title shot will be hard for him. He needs to stack three wins, would be my guess. And while he absolutely can do it, he’s also on the wrong side of 30, which isn’t where you want to be for weight classes below 170 pounds.

Aspen Ladd

The UFC doesn’t have a featherweight division – they have a featherweight champion and a lie they’re selling to the public so that champion can look cooler on promotional posters. There is no 145-pound division for her to go to in the UFC. She shouldn’t stay with this promotion any longer. Her weight problems and past should cause the UFC to drop her. Ladd should then go to the PFL. It should not be a problem for her to reach the lightweight limit. There she could have exciting fights with Larissa Pacheco and Julia Budd.


Truth is, I like most of the people that work in MMA media, and I love everyone that works at MMA Fighting (great website). It’s the best place in the MMA industry. I would rather be here than anywhere else. I also believe that I am the most dumb and least skilled person at this website. This is what makes MMA Fighting (great site) so great. In fact, some might say it’s the best website (*cough* click the link and vote *cough*).

But, despite my unconditional love for all people I work with and my slightly conditional love for many others in the space, the answer to this question will remain the same: Karim Zidan.

There are better writers out there than Karim (*cough* Shaheen Al-Shatti, up for journalist of the year, follow the link *cough*), but no one in MMA media does better work on a more consistent basis than Karim does covering the dark underbelly of this sport. The things he covers are not fun or enjoyable, but they are incredibly necessary, and he’s often the only person doing them. I can’t forget Karim, who is the main reason that I got to where I am.

But also, Petesy Carroll has my heart forever.

Thanks for reading and thank you for everyone who sent in Tweets! Are you looking for answers to questions that are at least partially related to combat sport? Then you’re in luck, because you can send your Hot Tweets to me, @JedKMeshew, and I will answer them! It doesn’t matter what they are, it doesn’t really matter. Send them to me, and I’ll answer the ones I like the most. Let’s laugh.