Khamzat Chimaev absorbed boos from the crowd – but not a single Kevin Holland strike in their late-notice UFC 279 co-main event on Saturday evening.
Chimaev went straight into a takedown and stopped the American from getting free, securing a tight D’Arce choke to force a tap just two minutes and 13 seconds into the first round.
The 12-0 undefeated star was whistled and booed by the Las Vegas crowd while speaking to Joe Rogan, who called out his failed weight cut and warned him that it could cost him a title shot.
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The 28-year-old contender was due to fight Nate Diaz in a main event, with Dana White and his team shuffling their talent around after he weighed in 7.5lbs overweight.
With Diaz booked in to face fellow veteran Tony Ferguson in the final fight of the night, Holland stepped in to take on Chimaev after their row escalated into the cancelation of the pre-fight press conference.
While admitting that his new opponent was a different prospect to planned foe Daniel Rodriguez, there's no doubt that his performance brought disappointment.
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Rogan asked Chimaev about a potential move up to middleweight following his struggles to make the 170lb limit, having previously hinted at fighting in both divisions.
"I’m the most dangerous guy here, I’m coming for everyone," Chimaev replied.
Rogan continued to push Chimaev over the weight miss, telling him that had he been booked for a title fight then he wouldn't have been eligible to win the title.
He replied: "I don’t care about that s***.
"Doctors stopped me; I didn’t come to die in my bed, I came to die in the cage."
Elsewhere at UFC 279 Rodriguez beat Li Jingliang in a controversial split decision, with Irene Aldana stopping Macy Chiasson and Johnny Walker forcing a submission from Ion Cutelaba before Diaz got a submission of his own against Ferguson.
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