A handful of "conspiracy theories" circulated on social networks, media, and various analyzes after the UFC 279 event underwent changes just one day before the event. Khamzat Chimaev exceeded the upper limit of the welterweight division and Nate Diaz refused to fight him.
Very quickly, the UFC came to a solution where they paired Chimaev with Kevin Holland and Nate Diaz with Tony Ferguson. Li Jingliang and Daniel Rodriguez were left without their "dance partner" and the UFC paired the two.
During the week leading up to the UFC 279 event, there was some animosity between Kevin Holland and Khamzat Chimaev. Just a day after that, the two were matched up for a showdown, but only because Chimaev fell on the scales.
Khamzat claims that doctors forbade him to lose weight six hours before the start of the official weigh-in, and theoretically he still had almost eight hours to lose 3.40 extra kilograms. However, the doctors prevented his process and that's where the births mentioned above began.
Diaz ended up being paired with Ferguson, and hardly anyone disagreed that it wasn't a far better and more meaningful matchup than the one between Diaz and Chimaev. Then "conspiracy theories" began to circulate that the UFC put all this together because they felt pressure from the public and criticism due to the pairing of Diaz and Chimaev.
Dana White had the opportunity to answer that question.
“There’s some f*cking lunatics on the internet that think this was all staged and planned and whatever,” White told MMA Junkie and other reporters at the UFC 279 post-fight news conference.
“If you think that the crazy dudes that we had here this week could be orchestrated into something that would be … you’re literally out of your mind. This all happened and we had to deal with it. I just couldn’t wait to get tonight over with”.
Dana White's answer probably comes as no surprise. Even if they really planned all this, of course, the UFC president would never admit it. This will remain a matter of speculation unless some fighter comes forward and tells the truth.