Last week, the UFC‘s matchmaking board was captured on camera during a podcast episode. Several major bouts were noticed on the board, many of which were announced soon after the “leak.”
At yesterday’s UFC 274 event, when the main card for July 2’s UFC 277 card was unveiled, there was one fight from the matchmaking board for that date that was conspicuously absent: Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz.
A bout between Chimaev and Diaz had been targeted by the UFC last year, but those talks were squashed by Diaz himself, who found the very idea to be disrespectful.
However, with Diaz constantly expressing his frustrations of being unbooked for the final fight of his contract and the viral matchmaking-board leak, many began wondering if it was only a matter of time before a Chimaev/Diaz bout was announced.
Dana White Addresses Chimaev/Diaz Reports
During the UFC 274 post-fight press conference, White was asked about the Chimaev/Diaz pairing, and here was his response:
“Yeah, some of those (fights that were on the board) are just placeholders. So when we go in there, we’ll have placeholders in place. None of that stuff are done deals. Some of those are just placeholders. Some of them are done, and some of them aren’t.”
White was then asked directly if he is interested in making that fight next, to which he admitted to being the case. However, White stated he was unsure if the fight had already been offered to Diaz.
Khamzat Chimaev is currently ranked #3 at welterweight following his unanimous decision victory over Gilbert Burns at UFC 273. Contrastingly, Diaz is unranked and has lost three of his last four fights, including his most recent bout against Leon Edwards last June.
This contrast in career trajectories and age has caused many to call into question why the UFC would look to book this bout. Some have even theorized that the UFC is trying to sabotage Diaz, who has opted not to re-sign with the promotion and would become a free agent after the bout.
Do you want to see Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz?