If Nate Diaz can do the unthinkable at UFC 279 next month (Sat., Sept. 10, 2022), he may not be leaving the promotion after all.
For all of 2022, Diaz has made it clear he wants out of his UFC contract and will fight anyone to finish up the final fight of his contract. This past month (July 2022), his wish was finally granted as his main event showdown with undefeated top-ranked Welterweight contender, Khamzat Chimaev (11-0), was made official.
According to Chimaev, he didn’t need to take this fight and could have waited for a title shot against the winner of this weekend’s title bout, Kamaru Usman versus Leon Edwards 2, at UFC 278 (Sat., Aug. 20, 2022). Now in Diaz’s case, he could earn himself a crack at gold in potential negotiations after a huge upset win.
“I mean, obviously, if Nate beat Khamzat Chimaev, the No. 3 guy in the world, you’d have to look at Nate, too,” UFC President, Dana White, told The Underground regarding a Diaz title shot. “Everybody’s talking ... like that it’s impossible for Nate Diaz to win this fight. Nothing is impossible in fighting. Everything is possible.
“Nate Diaz wanted this fight,” he continued. “It was either this fight or Francis Ngannou. This fight makes a lot more sense than Francis 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.”
A win for Diaz would snap a two-fight skid dating back to Nov. 2019 when he came up short in the lone Baddest Motherf—ker (BMF) title fight in mixed martial arts (MMA) history opposite Jorge Masvidal. Suffering defeat via third round doctor’s stoppage technical knockout (watch highlights), Diaz returned to action two years later at UFC 263 in June 2021. Despite valiant efforts late, Diaz dropped a unanimous decision to the aforementioned next title challenger, Leon Edwards (watch highlights).
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 279 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 279: “Khamzat vs. Diaz” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.