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UFC 279 Nate Diaz vs. Khamzat Chimaev: Start Times, How to Watch and That Press Conference

Sometimes the UFC has stacked cards, with titles fights and whatnot, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen a UFC PPV card focused around bonafide stars. That’s what UFC 279 presents on Saturday.

At UFC 279 one of the UFC’s most bankable fighters, Nate Diaz, faces off against the biggest rising star in the game, Khamzat Chimaev. 

This is a fight with layers.

This is the last fight on Diaz’s UFC contract — a contract he’s been trying to escape for years. On his way out, he’s been given the worst possible match-up possible. Chimaev isn’t just an incredible fighter, he’s arguably one of the greatest talents we’ve seen in MMA in the last decade. He has ripped through the competition, often defeating opponents without even taking a single punch. This is Rocky vs. Drago level stuff. It feels like the UFC is trying to give Diaz literally the toughest fight possible on his way out of the door. 

There’s a pro wrestling element to this. The UFC is essentially trying to elevate its new star by putting him over the aging star leaving for a rival promotion. It sort of sucks.

But Diaz has been here before. He was the lamb to the slaughter against Conor McGregor back in 2016 and somehow beat the odds and shocked the world, winning that fight in the second round. That being said, McGregor was a 145-pound striker fighting at 170. This time round Diaz is fighting a gigantic welterweight with incredibly good wrestling — which is basically kryptonite for a fighter like Diaz. In short, the prognosis is bad. This could be something of a squash match.

Diaz’s best chance is to drag this into the later rounds. Chimaev noticeably tired in his last fight against top contender Gilbert Burns. Diaz, a part-time triathlete, is famous for having great cardio. He almost knocked out current welterweight champ Leon Edwards in the fifth round in his last fight.

But we’re most likely looking at a very one-sided beatdown here.

Press conference canceled?

News just in, UFC President Dana White canceled the UFC 279 press conference at the very last minute, after a huge scuffle backstage featuring Chimaev and Kevin Holland, another fighter on the undercard.

The pair had been arguing back and forth before things got physical between them. Reportedly, members of Diaz’s entourage also got involved, with bottles being thrown. 

MMA reporter Ariel Helwani has the full story.

All par for the course with a Diaz fight.

UFC 279 Start time

The UFC 279 main card starts at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on Sept. 10. Here are all the details from multiple time zones.


  • The main card starts Sept 10, 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT).
  • The prelims start Sept. 10, 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT).
  • The early prelims start Sep. 10, 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT).


  • The main card starts Sept. 11, 3 a.m. BST.
  • The prelims start Sept. 11, 1 a.m. BST.
  • The early prelims start Sept. 10, 11 p.m. BST.


  • The main card starts Sept. 11, 12 p.m. AEDT.
  • The prelims start Sept. 11, 10 a.m. AEDT.
  • The early prelims start Sept. 11, 8.00 a.m. AEDT.

How to watch UFC 279

The UFC now has a partnership with ESPN. That’s great news for the UFC and the expansion of the sport of MMA, but bad news for consumer choice. Especially if you’re one of the UFC fans who want to watch UFC in the US.

In the US, if you want to know how to watch UFC 279, you’ll only find the fight night on pay per view through ESPN Plus. The cost structure is a bit confusing, but here are the options to watch UFC on ESPN, according to ESPN’s site:

  • Existing yearly ESPN Plus subscribers can order the upcoming UFC card for $75.
  • New ESPN Plus subscribers can buy a bundle of one UFC PPV event (streaming in HD) and an ESPN Plus annual recurring subscription for $100. This is a decent deal. The ESPN Plus annual ESPN subscription will auto-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 through Main Event on Foxtel. You can also stream via 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 those US, UK or Australian options listed above. See the best VPNs recommended by CNET editors.

Full fight card

As always, these cards are subject to change.

Main PPV card

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


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

Early prelims

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



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