Conor McGregor has a theory.
After Khamzat Chimaev missed weight by 7.5 pounds for his scheduled bout with Nate Diaz, UFC president Dana White scrambled to shuffle the UFC 279 card. The result: Diaz will fight Tony Ferguson instead while Chimaev will fight Kevin Holland.
McGregor doesn't think Chimaev should even still be allowed to fight on the card, though. He also believes that Chimaev purposely failed to make weight so he could fight a "more favorable bout" and that others will try the same trick to change their opponent after watching White change the card.
My opinion they should have pulled khamzat from the card entirely. Reconfiguring bouts, and with a more favorable bout for the failed cutter, will only make many others in the game follow suit. The smirks on the scale where enough for me. Pull from the card and starve. McG UFC.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 10, 2022
Whether or not you would categorize Chimaev's smirk as nefarious or simply coincidental, it should also be noted that Chimaev and his newly minted opponent, Holland, came to blows during a backstage brawl on Thursday. So, Chimaev has some added motivation to fight Holland. If you're to believe McGregor's conspiracy.
There is precedent for pulling combatants for not making weight or canceling a fight entirely. Rafael Alves' featherweight bout with Patrick Sabatini in 2021 was cut from the UFC Vegas 19 card after Alves missed weight by a record 11.5 pounds. But that wasn't the main event, unlike the originally scheduled Diaz-Chimaev showdown.
McGregor hasn't competed since his 2021 loss to Dustin Poirier in UFC 264 when he broke his tibia. It's unclear when McGregor will return to the ring, but White told TMZ back in June that he thinks McGregor will be ready to return by the end of 2022 or early 2023.