Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Nate Diaz Reacts To Opponent Switch For UFC 279 Main Event

After a tumultuous weigh-in day appeared to jeopardize the entire event, Nate Diaz will remain the headliner for UFC 279 and has shared some thoughts on his original opponent and new matchup.

The 37-year-old was slated to meet Khamzat Chimaev at welterweight in the main event of UFC 279 in Las Vegas. “Borz” ended up missing weight by 7.5 pounds, which immediately threw the card’s headlining bout into limbo.

After several hours of speculation, the UFC elected to move Tony Ferguson from his co-main event fight with Li Jingliang into the main event slot opposite Diaz. Chimaev will remain on the card and face Kevin Holland, whose original opponent Daniel Rodriguez will now meet Jingliang.

In an interview with ESPN MMA’s Megan Olivi, Diaz was asked for his reaction to Chimaev’s weigh-in debacle and the subsequent change in opponent for UFC 279.

“It’s all a mess. It’s (fucking) irritating. I train for Khamzat, I don’t even know how to fight (Ferguson) yet. I’m gonna watch some video tonight, but it don’t matter anyway ’cause I train for everybody always anyway. I don’t train for fights anymore, I just train to fight everybody always. Ready for war. It for sure makes me happy though that I’m not supporting the (shit) that they’ve been trying push on me the whole time.”

Diaz: Chimaev Is A “Little Leaguer”

The matchup between Diaz and Chimaev was widely criticized as being an apparent move to mismatch Diaz for the final fight on his UFC contract. The 37-year-old has publically feuded with the promotion on a number of occasions and had been actively looking to get out of his contract before this fight was booked for UFC 279.

With Chimaev unable to make weight, Diaz now finds himself matched up with fellow The Ultimate Fighter winner Tony Ferguson. “El Cucuy” will return to welterweight for the first time since winning Season 13 of the UFC’s reality show in an effort to snap a 4-fight losing streak.

As irritated as Diaz may be about having to prepare for a new opponent, it’s clear that he holds considerably more respect for Ferguson than he does for Chimaev.

Chimaev’s inability to make weight led to several changes on the UFC 279 main card. (Zuffa LLC)

“And (Chimaev), this guy is a little leaguer bro. Straight up, little leaguer playing in the major leagues. He found he didn’t belong, and I’ll never fight him in here. But I’ll fight him right now if I can (fucking) find his (bitch ass) out here anyway. So, that was the bad part about fighting him. I don’t like doing that no more, getting into fights with people that I don’t appreciate, that don’t deserve it, who haven’t put in the time. So, at least I’m dealing with somebody right now who’s been through it. If it is my last fight, which I don’t – here, I don’t really plan on being – at least it’s with a veteran and somebody who’s respectable and (ready to fucking fight).

The top 3 fights of the UFC 279 main card have all experienced alterations as a result of Chimaev missing weight, although all of the fighters originally booked will still compete in different matchups.

What do you think of Diaz’s comment s on Chimaev missing weight and facing Ferguson in the UFC 279 main event?

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