While the MMA community awaited word on what could happen to the top of the UFC 279 lineup following Khamzat Chimaev’s weight miss, Jon Anik was given a heads up by Joe Rogan that things might get shuffled.
At the event’s official weigh-ins, Chimaev missed weight by 7.5 pounds for his scheduled main event bout with Nate Diaz. The blunder on the scale led to Diaz shifting to Tony Ferguson, Chimaev to Kevin Holland, and Li Jingliang to Daniel Rodriguez.
Before Chimaev hit the scale, Anik didn’t have things fully confirmed in any way, but thanks to Rogan, he was able to begin mentally preparing for the potential changes.
“I was sworn to secrecy by the great Joe Rogan, who called me at 9:30 in the morning and suggested that this was what Dana White was trying to do,” Anik told MMA Fighting. “I appreciated that because at that point in time, I was in the dark.
“Every time I would come out [during official weigh-ins], the media was looking for something and I’m saying, ‘Oh, no, Irene Aldana and Macy Chiasson are fighting at a catchweight at 140 pounds,’ and [everyone] was looking at me like, ‘Is that it, bro? Is that the update right now?’”
The rest of Anik’s day consisted of re-voicing the welcome for the UFC 279 ceremonial weigh-ins, along with other elements that would need to be instituted for the fight night broadcast.
While UFC 223 — which featured the unfortunate dolly incident with Conor McGregor in Brooklyn — will seemingly always sit at the top of the list for all-time hectic UFC fight weeks, Anik believes it will be difficult for a future event to overtake UFC 279 for the No. 2 spot.
“It was wild,” Anik said. “My enthusiasm of this new fight card quickly went from a little bit of anxiety with some of the voice-over work that needed to be done with immediacy, but all’s well that ends well. For better or for worse, our whole live production team is well conditioned to a circumstance like this, and I would agree with people that that would say — at least from a competition standpoint for the most part — that the card took on a more competitive look after the fact.
“In terms of wildness during fight week, UFC 279 will be hard to top.”