Nate Diaz pined to leave the UFC and got one final match after it was clear that he wouldn’t be resigning with the company. Before wrapping up his contract, he was scheduled to face off against Khamzat Chimaev. The fight was highly anticipated, but Chimaev came out 7 and a half pounds over the weight limit.
Tony Ferguson came in as a last-minute replacement for Chimaev. However, the fight could have also been in the cards for UFC superstar Dustin Poirier. The star revealed in an interview with Heavy that he was ready for it, but they ultimately went with Ferguson.
Poirier revealed what was going on backstage when Dana White and top executives like Hunter Campbell were struggling to find a viable replacement. Poirier said that when he was offered the fight, he accepted it.
It was good. It was surprising because my coach, Mike Brown, just flew into Louisiana the night before. It was his birthday so I ate some pasta so I was a little bit heavier the morning they called and then they offered me the fight and I accepted it.
The star was ready to take on Diaz. The executives were trying to get Poirier approved by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, while Poirier had his own arrangements for making it to Vegas. However, they ultimately chose Ferguson over him, and he was fine with it.
Then, they had to go through hurdles with the athletic commission to try to make this thing happen, for me to fly over the same day, all this and that. Luckily for me, I had some friends and pilots who have the ability to get me to Vegas on very short notice time so I had that setup. Everything was good to go but I think it ultimately came down to the athletic commission. Tony had already weighed in and they just wanted to go that way instead. But I did accept and I did speak to the UFC and they were very thankful.
Khamzat Chimaev recently claimed that Nate Diaz turned down $2 million to fight him. Nate Diaz won out big against Tony Ferguson at UFC 279, and Jake Paul thinks that he was ‘near flawless‘ in the fight.
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