When Chimaev faces Diaz in the main event of UFC 279, he is about to clash with one of the UFC’s greatest superstars albeit one superstar that’s far removed from the glory days of his career.
This is why even company men like Daniel Cormier are willing to admit UFC is doing Diaz no favors by allowing for this to happen.
Chimaev is well aware that a Diaz bout does nothing for him in terms of rankings and is mostly in it for the chance to earn a lot of money.
His head coach discussed his feelings upon receiving the bout news in an interview with Submission Radio.
“But this guy is one of the biggest welterweights in the division, like Alex is one of the biggest light heavyweights in the division. It takes a little bit of time to do stuff but at the end of the day, done deal.”
Michael explained his preference for the battle when Chimaev’s preparations for the encounter were brought up.
“Well, he’s not out of shape. It’s just that we need time to prepare for the right camp, he’s always in shape but we gotta make a battle plan and practice it.”
“Conditioning is the last thing that I’m worried about. What we have to do is just apply the tactical side of it. Five weeks is a little bit short but it’s done before.”
“ As they say, if you’re going to put yourself at risk, then better to put yourself at risk against the best. I’d like for us to go against the best because to be the best, you have to beat the best.”
Michael put an end to any speculation that this was a hit job on Diaz by the UFC.
“It’s bullsh*t, it’s pure bullsh*t. Nate Diaz has fought and given Leon Edwards a run for his money. Alright, Leon Edwards was winning every round but he gave Leon Edwards a tough fight. He’s by no means an easy opponent for us. Nate Diaz is probably going to make money.”
“By no means is it not beneficial for Nate because for him to accept this fight you can understand that he got paid or is getting paid.”
Despite his words, odds makers have Chimaev as a sizeable favorite ahead of Diaz.