Does Nate Diaz have a chance against Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279?
After a war of words with the UFC president Dana White, the American finally has a fight, but did he bite off more than he can chew?
One of the UFC’s biggest stars has secured a bout with one its most dangerous fighters. The question is, can the former Ultimate Fighter winner fend off the Swede’s threat?
Nate Diaz to fight Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279
Having begged for a fight over the last few months, it would appear that Nate Diaz has finally been granted his wish by the UFC and it’s big one at that. According to reports, the American will take on the Chechnyan born, Swedish fighter Khamzat Chimaev on September 10th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in the main event of UFC 279. Diaz, who is without doubt one of the biggest stars of the UFC will actually be heading into what is the last fight on his contract. In Chimaev, he will face the third-ranked welterweight and most definitely a very dangerous opponent.
Organizing Nate Diaz’s fight took some doing
In the weeks prior to the UFC’s announcement, it’s understood that there was an intense back and forth between the organization and Diaz as he tried to secure himself a bout. Curiously, it was just last week when Diaz declared in during a media appearance that he wanted to fight either UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou or middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Suffice to say, neither fight was viewed as sanctionable by any commission in the world.
Following Diaz’s apparently over the top request, UFC president Dana White expressed his frustration with the situation on Saturday after the UFC’s Long Island card. What’s important to note, is that while White indicated that agreeing a deal with Diaz was difficult, he didn’t specify exactly what the situation was. “Imagine having a f***ing conversation like that,” White said in reference to Diaz’s request for a fight with Ngannou. “It’s like, ‘Come on.’ Nate Diaz versus Francis Ngannou? What should I say? It’s like, ‘Holy s***. This is crazy.’” After that episode, it’s understood that the UFC once again tapped on Diaz’s door at which point ground was given. According to the organization’s statement, both fighters agreed to the deal.
Khamzat Chimaev is no joke
Rhetoric aside, the reality is this: Khamzat Chimaev may well be the worst choice Diaz could have made for his final fight in the UFC. To date, Chimaev has called out essentially every single one of the top-tier fighters in the welterweight and middleweight divisions. Most recently he requested a date in the octagon with Alex Pereira, but Pereira declined on the grounds that he will be fighting Israel Adesanya for the middleweight title in his next bout. To date, Chimaev is 5-0 in the UFC and 11-0 overall. His most recent fight was against Gilbert Burns at UFC 273. Though he had his struggles, he eventually emerged victorious.
Diaz on the other hand, is a bit of a curious case. Undoubtedly a household name for fight fans, Diaz has not enjoyed the kind of success in the cage that one might think. Indeed, the American has lost his last two fights in a row and three of his last four in total. If one thing is clear, he will be given no quarter against Chimaev so if there was ever a time for a turn-around, it’s right now. As if to punctuate that point, Chimaev didn’t mix words when speaking about his date with Diaz “I am going to handle Nate Diaz’s funeral with the UFC,” he said via a representative.