UFC 279 Nate Diaz vs. Khamzat Chimaev: everything you need to know

Sometimes the UFC has stacked cards, with title fights and all, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen a UFC PPV card aimed at bona fide stars. That’s what UFC 279 presents on Saturday.

At UFC 279, one of the UFC’s most profitable fighters, Nate Diaztakes on the biggest rising star in the game, Khamzat Chimaev.

This is a battle of layers.

This is the last fight on Diaz’s UFC contract — a contract he’s been trying to escape for years. On his way out, he’s gotten the worst possible match-up. Not only is Chimaev an incredible fighter, he is arguably one of the greatest talents we’ve seen in MMA over the past decade. He has broken through the competition, often beating opponents without even dealing a single blow. This is Rocky vs. Drago level stuff. It feels like the UFC is literally trying to give Diaz the toughest fight possible on his way out.

There’s a pro wrestling element to it. The UFC is essentially trying to elevate its new star by taking him over the aging star leaves for a rival promotion. It’s kind of suck.

But Diaz has been here before. He was the lamb to the slaughter against Conor McGregor in 2016 and somehow beat the odds and shocked the world by winning that fight in the second round. That said, McGregor was a 145-pound striker who fought at 170. This time, Diaz is fighting a gigantic welterweight with unbelievably good wrestling – which is basically kryptonite for a fighter like Diaz. In short, the prognosis is poor. This could be something of a squash match.

Diaz’s best chance is to drag this into the later rounds. Chimaev noticeably fatigued in his final fight against top contender Gilbert Burns. Diaz, a part-time triathlete, is known for great cardio. He nearly defeated current welterweight champion Leon Edwards in the fifth round in his final fight.

But we are most likely looking at a very one-sided defeat here.

Press conference cancelled?

News just in, UFC President Dana White canceled the UFC 279 press conference at the very last minute, after a massive scuffle backstage with Chimaev and Kevin Holland, another fighter on the undercard.

The pair had argued back and forth before getting physical between them. Members of Diaz’s entourage also reportedly became involved, with bottles being thrown.

MMA reporter Ariel Helwani has the full story.

All par for the course with a Diaz fight.

UFC 279 Start Time

The UFC 279 main card kicks off on September 10 at 10pm ET (7pm PT). Here are all the details of multiple time zones.

U.S

  • The main card kicks off on September 10, 10pm ET (7pm PT).
  • The preliminaries begin September 10, 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT).
  • The early preliminaries begin on September 10 at 6:00 PM ET (3:00 PM PT).

UK

  • The main card kicks off on September 11 at 3am BST.
  • Preliminary rounds begin September 11, 1pm BST.
  • The early qualifying rounds begin September 10, 11pm BST.

Australia

  • The main card starts September 11, 12 noon AEDT.
  • Preliminary rounds begin on September 11 at 10 a.m. AEDT.
  • The early preliminaries begin on September 11 at 8:00 AM AEDT.

How to watch UFC 279

The UFC now has a partnership with ESPN. That’s great news for the UFC and the expansion of MMA, but bad news for consumer choice. Especially if you are one of the UFC fans who want to watch UFC in USA.

If you want to find out how to watch UFC 279 in the US, you’ll find the fight night on pay-per-view only via ESPN Plus. The cost structure is a bit confusing, but here are the options for watching UFC on ESPN, according to ESPN’s site:

  • Existing annual ESPN Plus subscribers can order the upcoming UFC card for $75.
  • New ESPN Plus subscribers can purchase a bundle of one UFC PPV event (streaming in HD) and an annual ESPN Plus subscription for $100. This is a decent deal. The ESPN Plus Annual ESPN Subscription automatically renews after one year, at the price of an ESPN Plus Annual Subscription at the time of auto-renewal.

You can do all of the above from the link below.

MMA fans in the UK can watch UFC 278 exclusively through BT Sport.

There are more options if you live in Australia. You can watch UFC 278 via Main Event on Foxtel. You can also stream via Kayo for AU$55. You can even order through your PlayStation or through the UFC app on your Xbox.

Need more international viewing opportunities? Try a VPN to change your IP address to access the US, UK, or Australian options listed above. Check out the best VPNs recommended by CNET editors.

Full Fight Map

As always, these cards are subject to change.

Main PPV card:

  • Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz
  • Tony Ferguson vs. Li Jingliang
  • Kevin Holland vs. Daniel Rodriguez
  • Irene Aldana v Macy Chiasson
  • Johnny Walker vs. Ion Cutelaba

Preliminary rounds

  • Hakeem Dawodu vs. Julian Erosa
  • Jailton Almeida vs. Anton Turkalj
  • Denis Tiuliulin vs. Jamie Pickett
  • Jake Collier vs. Chris Barnett

early preliminaries

  • Danielle Wolf vs. Norma Dumont
  • Chad Anheliger vs. Heili Alateng
  • Elise Reed vs. Melissa Martinez
  • Darian Weeks vs. Yohan Lainesse