Monday, August 15, 2022

Chimaev Corrects Nate Diaz On Misperception Ahead Of Fight

UFC welterweight contender Khamzat Chimaev doesn’t have a bone to pick with Nate Diaz ahead of their UFC 279 headliner.

Chimaev and Diaz will square off in a fight that has been talked about in MMA circles for months. After a matchup between the two of them was leaked from the UFC’s matchmaking board earlier this year, the excitement for the fight has only become more prevalent.

Diaz has blamed Chimaev for the fight not being booked at an earlier date. He was also linked to a potential matchup with Dustin Poirier before the UFC eventually moved on from the bout.

Diaz has also hinted that there is disdain between himself and Chimaev, but the latter is denying that’s the case.

Khamzat Chimaev Denies His Perceived Dislike Of Nate Diaz

Khamzat Chimaev, Nate Diaz
© David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports © Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

During a recent interview on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Chimaev addressed Diaz’s recent comments.

“Nate, he said like, ‘He don’t like me, I don’t like him,’ this type of stuff. I like that guy,” Chimaev clarified. “I (grew) up on him, you know? I was in school when he was fighting in the UFC. It’s amazing to fight that guy, and I like him.”

Chimaev went on to praise Diaz for accepting the fight for his potentially final Octagon walk.

“Respect for that guy (for taking) that fight,” Chimaev said. “He knows I’m younger (and) I’m hungry. I’m going up and take my belt, and the guy show up and fight with me. Respect for him.”

Chimaev most recently defeated Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 via a unanimous decision in a ‘Fight of the Year’ frontrunner. He’s undefeated in his professional career and could potentially earn a welterweight title shot with a victory over Diaz.

This is Diaz’s final fight on his contract and he has shared no interest in signing a new deal with the promotion. However, he hasn’t ruled out returning to the UFC at some point down the line.

Chimaev will likely trash-talk Diaz plenty of times between now and fight night on Sept. 10, but he wants the Stockton star to know that he respects what he has done for the UFC and the sport in general.

What is your early prediction for Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz?

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