Diaz, who’s grown into one of the sport’s biggest stars since rising to prominence on season five of The Ultimate Fighter, looks to be nearing the end of his time inside the Octagon, with the veteran heading towards the final fight on his active deal.
And after months of speculation and of a less than pleased Diaz accusing the UFC of holding him “hostage” by not booking him, the fan favorite has his likely farewell set. If anyone expected Diaz to be handed an easy assignment for his final outing, they’ve been left sorely mistaken.
After calling for it himself online, Diaz has been paired with undefeated rising welterweight Khamzat Chimaev in what will be the Chechen-born Swede’s first UFC main event.
The booking has certainly received mixed reactions. While the likes of former UFC title challenger Dan Hardy have branded it an “assassination attempt” on the part of Dana White and the promotion, others, including Belal Muhammad, have refused to count Diaz out.
The latest to give their take on the fight is former Bellator champion and current #5-ranked lightweight Michael Chandler, who’s not optimistic about Diaz’s chances.
Chandler: Diaz Will Be Outmatched In Every Area
Like Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson, Chandler was one of many who threw their names into the hat for Diaz’s final fight. But having seen Chimaev thrust into the UFC 279 headliner, “Iron” is anticipating a rough departure for the Stockton native.
While the one-time UFC title challenger did brand his fellow MMA vet a “gangster,” and backed him to make the matchup fun, he noted that Diaz will likely be beaten in all aspects of the game come fight night.
“It’s a tough fight. Khamzat, obviously, still undefeated, beat by friend Gilbert (Burns); very tough, very close fight. I think Gilbert put on much more of a performance than I think Nate Diaz is gonna be able to withstand when you talk about a guy like Khamzat,” Chandler said. “Khamzat is a big human being, at the 170/185 division. So, I think Diaz is gonna be outmatched in pretty much every aspect of the game. But Nate Diaz is a gangster in every sense of the word, so it’ll be fun.”
But Chimaev, who’s made it his goal to run through anyone and everyone en route to the top, will be looking to show that the Stockton native is no match for him on September 10. And though many have backed “Borz” to do so, UFC President Dana White has defended the booking, which many have likened to a ‘squash match’, claiming that people want to see it.
In that sense, at least, he’s got the support of Chandler.
Do you agree with Michael Chandler’s assessment of Nate Diaz vs. Khamzat Chimaev?