Nate Diaz says he turned down UFC fight with rising star Khamzat Chimaev

The undefeated Chimaev is 4-0 in the UFC, having absorbed just one significant strike in the promotion

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Friday 03 December 2021 14:06
Nate Diaz on Jimmy Kimmel

Nate Diaz has said he recently turned down a fight against rising UFC star Khamzat Chimaev amid reports that the two could go head-to-head.

Diaz has one fight left on his UFC contract, and rumours suggest that the Californian could be paired with Chimaev – perhaps in an attempt to further enhance the latter’s profile.

Chimaev is undefeated at 10-0, and the Russian-born Swede has gone 4-0 in the UFC since debuting last year. He has won all 10 of his professional bouts by stoppage, remarkably absorbing just one significant strike in the UFC.

Diaz (20-13) shot to fame with his submission victory over Conor McGregor on short notice in March 2016, though the 36-year-old has fought just four times since, losing three of those bouts.

“They’re coming at me with [Khamzat], and I’m like: ‘Hold on, don’t disrespect me like that, trying to offer me a fight with a rookie,’” Diaz told TMZ.

“I’m cool, you got 4 fights in the UFC. Don’t even talk my name.”

Chimaev, who last fought in October, has already seen his Instagram follower count climb to 2.9 million as a result of his ruthless performances and seemingly unfaltering confidence.

Chimaev’s most recent victory – over Li Jingliang at UFC 267 – saw the 27-year-old enter the welterweight rankings at No10, though he has since slipped to 11th.

Khamzat Chimaev has won all 10 of his professional fights by stoppage

That technicality is seemingly working against Chimaev in his bid to fight Diaz, who has said he only wants a top-10 opponent.

“I’m trying to fight somebody in the UFC, like ASAP, but nobody wants to fight. I’ve been trying to get somebody for a minute,” said Diaz, who was outpointed by Leon Edwards in his most recent bout, in June.

“Anybody from the top 10, I’ve been trying to fight – in any weight division – but they all wanna keep their mouth shut ‘cause they’re all scared.”

Chimaev quickly responded to Diaz, writing on Twitter: “You fake gangster @NateDiaz209 and I don’t care who to fight, I’m coming for everybody, where are you all the gangsters and kings?

“I’m here to kill everyone, I’m the king here, I’m a gangster here.

“You are the easiest money for me thin @NateDiaz209,” Chimaev wrote in a follow-up Tweet, before adding: “Say hello to your older brother [Nick], tell him not to be afraid of me.

“I don’t beat old people, he knows what I mean, in Vegas I just wanted to say hello. Well, poor man ran away.”

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