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Nate Diaz: ‘I don’t want’ to fight Khamzat Chimaev — ‘He better finish me’

UFC 279 will be Nate Diaz’s last dance in the Octagon.

Stockton, California’s finest is set to headline this weekend’s event (Sat., Sept. 10, 2022) opposite surging Welterweight superstar, Khamzat Chimaev. The two have been linked to a potential showdown for the better part of 2022, but things didn’t officially come together until July.

The bout is Diaz’s last on his UFC contract and despite his willingness to fight anyone while asking for his release in the build-up, Diaz doesn’t necessarily want the Chimaev clash.

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“What they’ve got me doing right now is they’re acting like I called for this fight, which I didn’t call for, and I don’t want, and didn’t want, and still don’t want,” Diaz told ESPN (h/t MMA Fighting). “But I don’t give a f—k, I’ll fight anybody. But the pressure’s on him — he better finish me, because he’s the next killer in town.

“Because ... if I whoop his ass, they’re going to say, ‘Oh, he wasn’t the best in town,’” he continued. “But they’re not going to let me go [otherwise]. I asked for 20 fights, 10 fights, 15 fights.”

Diaz’s appearance against Chimaev will be his first since suffering a unanimous decision defeat to Leon Edwards in June 2021 (watch highlights). Since his March 2016 upset victory over Conor McGregor on short notice, Diaz has been one of the bigger names in mixed martial arts (MMA).

For Chimaev, his ascent to fame has come arguably quicker than fans have ever seen before. UFC 279 will mark Chimaev’s first main event in the organization in what’s only his sixth fight (11-0 overall).

“This fight is not even about this guy. It’s about making this guy,” Diaz said. “It’s about making this motherf—ker, right? And I’m like, okay, well, you guys aren’t going to let me go because I’m the best fighter here, and you’re not going to let me go unless it’s off of somebody? I’ve got to make somebody for you? Well, alright — you’re welcome. Let’s make you. You’re welcome, UFC. You’re welcome, Dubai. You’re welcome, all you motherf—ker in your country. You’re welcome. This is just my halftime show. I’m just getting started.”


MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 279 fight card, starting with the early UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches at 6 p.m. ET as well as the remaining undercard balance on ESPNN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET by HERE, followed by the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV RIGHT HERE.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 279: “Chimaev vs. Diaz” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here. For the complete UFC 279 fight card and PPV line up click here.

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