Wednesday, October 5, 2022

White: You’re Insane If You Think Diaz Can’t Beat Chimaev

UFC President Dana White has a message for those who don’t give Nate Diaz a chance to defeat Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279.

Diaz and Chimaev will battle in the UFC 279 headliner on Sept. 10. This is Diaz’s last fight on his current UFC contract, and he isn’t expected to remain with the promotion past this upcoming bout.

Chimaev, who is undefeated in his professional career, is a heavy betting favorite ahead of his matchup with Diaz. Some have questioned how competitive the fight will be, but Chimaev feels that the odds in his favor are irrelevant.

While the Diaz vs. Chimaev matchup puts two of the biggest UFC fan favorites against one another, White and the matchmakers have been accused of throwing Diaz to the wolves on his way out of the UFC’s door. Despite the criticism, White feels that Diaz has a chance to shock the world and pull off another upset in the Octagon.

Dana White Dismisses Notion That Nate Diaz Can’t Defeat Khamzat Chimaev

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

During a recent interview with MMA Underground, White gave his thoughts on what a win for Diaz over Chimaev could do for the welterweight title picture.

“I mean, obviously, if Nate beat Khamzat Chimaev, the No. 3 guy in the world, you’d have to look at Nate, too,” White said. “Everybody’s talking … like that it’s impossible for Nate Diaz to win this fight. Nothing is impossible in fighting. Everything is possible.

“Nate Diaz wanted this fight,” White continued. “It was either this fight or Francis Ngannou. This fight makes a lot more sense than Francis does. But, you know, for everybody to think that a veteran who’s as durable as Nate Diaz can’t win this fight is insane, so anything is possible. … You get out of the first two rounds and the fight gets interesting.” (h/t MMA Mania)

The current odds against Diaz are similar to those of his first fight with Conor McGregor at UFC 196. After Rafael dos Anjos withdrew due to an injury on days’ notice, Diaz stepped up and ended up submitting McGregor in a wild upset.

Diaz is looking to get back in the win column following back-to-back losses to Leon Edwards and Jorge Masvidal. He hasn’t fought since his fight with Edwards last year at UFC 263.

If White’s comments are any indication, placing a bet on Diaz may not be a horrible idea despite facing the surging Chimaev.

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

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