Khamzat Chimaev is ready to go for what will be the highest profile match up of his still young superstar career.
Reported today (Tues., July 19, 2022), Chimaev is set to main event for the first time in his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) career on Sept. 10, 2022, at UFC 279. Standing in his way will be one-time Lightweight title challenger, Nate Diaz. The bout will be a five-round, non-title Welterweight affair.
Rumblings of the potential fight date back to May 2022 when UFC President, Dana White, unintentionally had his war room whiteboard list of upcoming matches leaked during a podcast interview. For awhile, it appeared nothing was going to come of it after White addressed the board, claiming it was something the promotion was working on, but wasn’t yet done. Each side spoke out on multiple occasions in the months that followed, Chimaev openly content with the booking, while Diaz has continuously demanded his release from UFC or to get a fight with “anyone” so he can finish the last fight of his contract.
Well, wish granted.
“This is a fight Nate has been asking for since the middle of April,” Diaz’s representative, Zach Rosenfield, said via ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
Historically, the smothering wrestler-type fighters like Chimaev have been the bane of Diaz’s existence in mixed martial arts (MMA). Supremely confident in his abilities, Chimaev is well aware of that.
“I am going to handle Nate Diaz’s funeral with the UFC,” Chimaev said via Okamoto.
Despite Diaz riding a two-fight losing streak and Chimaev surging with a flawless professional record (11-0) on the heels of a massive Gilbert Burns unanimous decision (watch highlights), a win for “Borz” could still very well earn him the next shot at Welterweight gold. A few weeks before UFC 279, the title will be contested in a rematch between the champion, Kamaru Usman, and the top contender, Leon Edwards, at UFC 278 on Aug. 20, 2022.
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