Khamzat Chimaev coach details ‘unprofessional’ weight issues, shoots down UFC 279 ‘conspiracy theory’


Khamzat Chimaev’s weight issues began long before his dramatic weigh-in miss ahead of UFC 279.

This past Saturday’s pay-per-view event in Las Vegas saw one of the most chaotic lineup shuffles in UFC history after Chimaev missed weight by over seven pounds for a scheduled welterweight main event bout against Nate Diaz. Officials were able to salvage the card by reorganizing the six fighters in the top three bouts, and Chimaev ended up in the co-main event against Kevin Holland.

Chimaev scored a dominant first-round submission win over Holland, but he now faces the question of whether he will be able to make the 170-pound weight limit (where he is currently No. 3 at welterweight in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings) going forward. Andreas Michael, his coach appeared on Monday to talk about the situation and correct any mistakes made during training camp.

“His entire career, he has been fighting at the welterweight weight,” Michael stated. “He’s missed weight this time, but it’s not as if he’s been missing weight all the time. Of course, he’s been having a hard time making weight, but he’s always made weight. We’re going make it simpler by fighting at middleweight in some fights. But we are open to fighting at welterweight too.

“We’re not going to lose our ranking there, hopefully, because we’re so close to a title fight there. Once we take the belt there, we’re going to pursue the middleweight division with all our hearts. Some fights will be held at middleweight. Others, at mediumweight. These are worthwhile fights. But that’s up to the UFC, of course, that’s not up to us.”

Michael stated that the time of Diaz’s scheduled fight played an important role in Chimaev’s difficulties with weight.

” We started this camp heavily,” Michael said. That’s also the issue. We got an offer to fight Nate Diaz, and it was earlier than this in August. It was too soon because he was heavy. Then they moved it 10 days up, and I believe we just started too heavy this camp. We should have had a little more discipline and held our weight to a reasonable level, to a reasonable weight close to the one that he’s training at and going into camp. This is it.

” There are many reasons, excuses, and everything in between. At the end of the day — I’m not slagging off Khamzat, he’s a magnificent fighter and I love him to death — but what I’m saying is that it was absolutely unprofessional from our side not to make weight. Absolutely, anyone who does not lose weight is unprofessional. I want to [apologize] to Nate’s camp for that. Both of us should have gained weight and there is no reason .”


Chimaev competes at both middleweight and welterweight in UFC. He has not previously been over the limit in either of these divisions, however Michael stated that the fighter was physically ill the night before the official weigh ins.

“He had muscle spasms and was shaking,” Michael stated. “Vomiting. When he stood up he was passing out. I was worried about him.”

” Ever since he was diagnosed with coronavirus, and other health problems, it has been a struggle for him to lose weight. Michael added that. “Ever since that issue, his body has been a little bit off when it comes down to pushing it to the last drop. But I’m just speculating. As I mentioned, I am not a physician. I also don’t pretend to be one .”


Chimaev badly missed weight at morning weigh-ins, and what followed was a chaotic 12-hour period in which it was unclear whether he would even remain on the card. UFC president Dana White told ESPN later that Chimaev had been “locking up” and was trying to lose weight. He also said that doctors wouldn’t allow him to keep the program going.

Michael clarified it was his decision to stop the weight cut after consulting with doctors. He also made it clear that Chimaev’s miss had nothing to do with any sort of grand plan on the part of his team or the UFC.

” I told [Chimaev], “F*** this. Your health is number one,” Michael replied. We called the doctor because of that. We were thinking, ‘Forget about the fight. Is he alright?’ Cutting weight is very dangerous for the body if you push too hard, and I just wanted him to be OK. “OK, this could mean that I am putting my health at risk. I wanted him to feel okay.

“I want to point this out because there’s a lot of different stories. Every time I give one interview, people are picking up small things and manipulating them and making the wrong things up. This is exactly what happened — I’m not manipulating — there is no conspiracy theory. We would love to see Nate Diaz fight for the legacy. Yes. We are crazy not to want to fight that fight. This is not likely to be repeated. It was a missed opportunity. Everybody says it wouldn’t give you anything. But, we know that it would. That fight is you’re fighting a big name, a popular guy, and you’re building your brand up. That was the fight that we wanted, and that’s what we trained for and suffered and went through hell for that fight. Are you kidding me? Kevin Holland will be a tough opponent for Nate Diaz. Nate Diaz is a fighter, and I respect him. I’m a fan, I think he’s got the heart of a lion. He comes and he brings it. We don’t take him lightly and know he will win. But what would happen if Khamzat faced him ?”


While Chimaev was fortunate that there was already a 180-pound catchweight bout scheduled between Holland and Daniel Rodriguez on the card — a scenario that provided Chimaev with a reasonable replacement opponent — Michael insists the goal was always to fight Diaz until it was clear that wouldn’t be possible.

The coach added that Chimaev went as far as to tell him that he would fight Diaz for free.

“He was determined to beat Nate,” Michael stated. “I said to him, ‘The doctor told you, you can’t continue and I’m going to stop the weight cut. It’s going to be stopped because I cannot disagree with the doctor’s instructions. Think if something happened. I’d never forgive myself. So what I said to him was that you better prepare yourself that you’re not going to get a fight.

“He says, “Listen! Tell them that I will give you my purse.” I’m going to give my purse to Nate. I would like to fight. Nate, please understand that I am sorry. I want to fight. I trained hard for this, I don’t want the fight to disappear. I’m sorry for Nate, he’s cut weight and he’s done everything he could, I just–my body can’t take this. It’s easy fighting for me; it’s very simple training. The hardest thing for me is when my body shuts down when I’m taking the weight. I want to make it worth his while and I’m going to give him my whole purse.'”

A bout with Diaz is unlikely to ever occur now with Diaz fighting out his contract after defeating Tony Ferguson by submission in the UFC 279 main event. But Chimaev’s team is still aiming for big fights and championship opportunities, either at 170 or 185 pounds.

If it’s up to Michael, Chimaev will make the cut to welterweight to challenge for that division’s title.

“I’d pick 170,” Michael said when asked which weight class Chimaev will chase a title in. “I’ll tell you why: Out of respect for the work that we’ve done. We have climbed up the ranks and are now ranked there. It wasn’t something that was given to us.