Before his catastrophic weigh-in failure before UFC 279, Khamzat Chimaev’s weight problems had already developed.
The UFC pay-per-view event this past Saturday in Las Vegas had one of the most tumultuous roster changes in the organization’s history due to Chimaev’s over seven-pound weight-cutting error for the scheduled welterweight main event match against Nate Diaz. By rearranging the six competitors in the top three fights, organizers were able to save the card, and Chimaev eventually faced Kevin Holland in the co-main event.
Chimaev defeated Holland via first-round submission, but moving forward, it is uncertain if he will be able to stay under the 170-pound weight limit. In order to explain the problem and correct faults that were made in training camp, his coach Andreas Michael made an appearance on The MMA Hour on Monday.
Khamzat Chimaev coach details ‘unprofessional’ weight cut issues
“His whole career he’s been fighting at welterweight,” Michael said. “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. The point of the thing is that we’re going to make it easier and fight at middleweight some of the fights, but we’re game for welterweight as well.
“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. Right now, some fights are going to be at middleweight, some are going to be at middleweight, worthwhile fights. But that’s up to the UFC, of course, that’s not up to us.”
Michael said the timing of the scheduled bout with Diaz played a part in the trouble Chimaev had making weight.
“We started this camp heavy,” Michael continued. “That’s what the problem was as well. 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. That’s basically about it.
“We can find a lot of reasons and excuses and all this. 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. Anyone who doesn’t make weight is unprofessional, absolutely. I want to [apologize] to Nate’s camp for that. We should have both made weight, and there are no excuses.”
“He was getting muscle spasms, shaking,” Michael said. “Vomiting. When he stood up he was passing out. I was worried about him.”