The final match of Nate Diaz’s UFC deal will be a major challenge.
One of the greatest names in MMA and a former UFC championship contender, Diaz, has been scheduled to face Khamzat Chimaev, an undefeated fighter, in the main event of UFC 279 on September 10 in Las Vegas.
The battle has drawn much attention from fans and competitors on social media.
Danny Segura, Matt Wells, and Simon Samano of MMA Junkie discuss whether or not Diaz’s farewell fight was the right one in this most recent episode of Triple Take.
I guess I’m not shocked.
We were all aware that the UFC made every effort to make Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz materialize. Additionally, we were aware that the UFC would probably prevail as usual because fighters have little power to influence their professional futures within the organization.
I’ll just be honest right away: I don’t like this argument.
Yes, it’s a significant matchup—possibly the biggest for Diaz outside McGregor. I won’t argue that the build will have plenty of amusing soundbites from both fighters. However, other than that, these two don’t belong in the same octagon.
Dana White, the CEO of the UFC, is correct when he says that Diaz “has only won one fight in the previous five years.” Chimaev is an unbeaten, legitimate championship contender who belongs to an exclusive group at welterweight and likely middleweight. This is a severe inconsistency.
Regarding Diaz’s contributions to MMA, I adore him. Chimaev was not on my list, even though I don’t think he’s defeated, and I still expect significant bouts for him in the future. The Chechen beast is traveling in the other direction. Chimaev is on the fast road to a UFC title belt, while Diaz is on the money fight track. The battle versus Diaz is a diversion from Kamaru Usman becoming the UFC title, which is what we finally want to witness.
Despite Diaz’s sub-.500 record since receiving a championship opportunity in 2012, the UFC is aware of the potential in his ability to generate crowds. He belongs to a rare group of people who, regardless of recent results, can generate a crowd, like Conor McGregor and Anderson Silva. These fighters likewise have varying amounts of gas left in their tanks, but most would agree that they have passed their prime.
The UFC is aware that this is the situation with Diaz. Yet, here we have one of Stockton’s best fighters headlining a pay-per-view event in a non-title fight following consecutive defeats to one of the most dreadful unbeaten emerging stars in Khamzat Chimaev.
What causes this to occur? At the twilight of his career, Donald Cerrone faced up against competitors like Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller. Why is Diaz receiving a different treatment?
He asked for this to start with. Consider your preferences when you’re in the last stages of a contract with a promotion that still wants to keep you on board but no longer wants to do business with them.
Now, the marketing is using Diaz’s name as a springboard for Chimaev. The issue? The odds are enormous, considering that Chimaev is already in orbit.
Kamaru Usman will face Leon Edwards to defend his welterweight championship at UFC 278 three weeks before UFC 279 takes place. It is fair to assume that Chimaev will be the top candidate if he prevails over Diaz. Chimaev only needs to show up, “smesh,” and announce the winner. The UFC gets to promote a legitimate contender for the welterweight championship while finishing the term of a dissatisfied veteran.