UFC fan favorite Nate Diaz has one final fight left on his current contract. Some fans speculated it would be a trilogy closer with Conor McGregor, a rematch with Jorge Masvidal, or even Dustin Poirier. It ended up being an up and coming killer.
Enter Khamzat Chimaev.
The social media talk was immediately centered around Nate being ‘served up’ so to speak against a fighter who is freakishly strong and typically overpowers opponents. Diaz is 37 years old and on the decline physically so another fighter around the same stage in his career would make sense. Naturally, the UFC decided to book him against a Russian beast coming in to his prime.
Nate had requested four specific opponents and according to him they were all shot down by UFC match makers.
Here is some of what he said (via BJPenn.com).
I told him you f***ing go find a top five guy, and then I’ll fight him if you want me to fight him, seeing as you’re not letting me out to fight Ferguson or Luque, who the f*** else did I try to fight, Poirier, Chandler, the best of the best, whoever you could get.
It seems like a fight with Michael Chandler or Dustin Poirier would have made a lot of sense in terms of pay per view buys, but it looks like they are – in our opinion – setting up Chimaev for a title shot if he can beat a star like Diaz. In all honesty it is likely they are expecting that outcome.
The two step inside The Octagon on Saturday, September 10th at UFC 279.