UFC 279 Nate Diaz vs. Tony Ferguson: Start times, how to watch, weigh the madness

Well, that was weird. Where to start ?

Let’s start with Nate Diaz vs. Khamzat Chimaev. It was the fight that was supposed to headline UFC 279. But Chimaev missed weight massively, reaching 7.5 pounds over the 171 limit. To save the card, the UFC had to revamp the entire main card.

Read more: How to get ESPN Plus for UFC 279

After negotiations between the fighters, there is a new main event. And one that, oddly, makes a lot more sense.

Instead of being outmatched by Chimaev, Nate Diaz now faces fellow UFC legend Tony Ferguson.

Chimaev now fights Kevin Holland at a catchweight of 179 pounds in the co-main event. Considering these two have been circling each other, sending teasers to each other for months, this fight can also make a lot of sense.

Li Jingliang, who was originally scheduled to fight Tony Ferguson, now faces old Dutch opponent Daniel Rodriguez.

In short, we went from…

  • Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz
  • Tony Ferguson vs Li Jingliang
  • Kevin Holland vs. Daniel Rodriguez

TO…

  • Nate Diaz vs. Tony Ferguson
  • Khamzat Chimaev vs Kevin Holland
  • Li Jingliang vs. Daniel Rodriguez

The biggest loser here is probably Li Jingliang, who went from a high-profile co-main event with a legend in Tony Ferguson, to a really tough fight with a bigger man in Daniel Rodriguez.

But the map is alive.

Press conference cancelled?

These few days have been chaotic. Ahead of the weigh-in circus, UFC President Dana White was forced to cancel the UFC 279 press conference at the very last minute after a huge backstage brawl featuring Chimaev and Kevin Holland, another undercard fighter.

The couple had argued before things got physical. There are reports that members of Diaz’s entourage also got involved, with bottle-throwing.

MMA reporter Ariel Helwani has the whole story.

Quite par for the course with a Diaz fight.

UFC 279 start time

The UFC 279 main card begins at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on September 10. Here are all the details of several time zones.

WE

  • The main card begins September 10 at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT).
  • Preliminaries begin September 10 at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT).
  • The early prelims begin September 10 at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT).

UK

  • The main card starts on September 11 at 3:00 a.m. BST.
  • The prelims start on September 11 at 1:00 a.m. BST.
  • The first preliminaries begin on September 10 at 11:00 p.m. BST.

Australia

  • The main card begins on September 11, 12 p.m. AEDT.
  • The prelims begin September 11 at 10 a.m. AEDT.
  • The first preliminaries begin on September 11 at 8:00 AM AEDT.

How to watch UFC 279

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

In the US, if you want to know how to watch UFC 279, you’ll only find fight night on pay-per-view 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 ESPN Plus annual subscribers can order the next UFC card for $75.
  • New ESPN Plus subscribers can purchase a bundle of a UFC PPV event (streaming in HD) and an ESPN Plus annual recurring subscription for $100. It’s a good thing. The ESPN Plus Annual ESPN Subscription will automatically renew 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 at 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 through Kayo for AU$55. You can even order using your PlayStation or using the UFC app on your Xbox.

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

Full fight card

As always, these maps are subject to change.

Main PPV map

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

Preliminaries

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

First preliminaries

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

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