MMA fans were left with a sour taste in their mouths after the UFC announced that seasoned veteran Nate Diaz will be competing against rising young star Khamzat Chimaev UFC 279. UFC and President Dana White were heavily criticized for this matchmaking with the only silver lining being that Diaz can ride off into the sunset not being hindered by UFC’s excessive contracts any more.
In the main event of UFC 279 on September 10, Diaz and Chimev will square off. Diaz’s current UFC contract expires after this bout. It seems unlikely that he would sign a new deal with the organization after this one considering he was rumored to have been offered extremely lucrative deals and was disinterested despite them.
Chimaev is unbeaten in his professional career and is a strong betting favorite. Many have expressed concern for this type of matchmaking considering the gross disbalance between the two.
White and the matchmakers have been under fire for allegedly throwing Diaz to the wolves on his way out of the UFC. The Diaz vs. Chimaev fight pits two of the top UFC fan favorites against one another.
In a recent interview with MMA Underground, White discussed the potential effects of Diaz defeating Chimaev in the welterweight championship race.
White added, “I mean, obviously, if Nate beat Khamzat Chimaev, the No. 3 guy in the world, you’d have to look at Nate, too. Everybody’s talking … like that it’s impossible for Nate Diaz to win this fight. Nothing is impossible”
“Everything is possible.”
“makes a lot more sense than Francis (Ngannou) does.”
“But, you know, for everybody to think that a veteran who’s as durable as Nate Diaz can’t win this fight is insane, so anything is possible. … You get out of the first two rounds and the fight gets interesting.”
The odds against Diaz right now are comparable to the ones he faced in his first matchup with Conor McGregor at UFC 196.
Following consecutive defeats to Leon Edwards and Jorge Masvidal, Diaz is aiming to finish out his contract. He hasn’t competed since his encounter with Edwards at UFC 263 in 2017.