Khamzat Chimaev hopes Nate Diaz can ‘survive’ five rounds

Khamzat Chimaev hopes Nate Diaz can ‘survive’ five rounds

LAS VEGAS – Khamzat Chimaev wants Nate Diaz to show off his trademark heart and durability in the main event of Saturday’s UFC 279.

In what will be the final fight on Diaz’s current UFC contract, the fan favorite will take on undefeated rising star Chimaev (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in a welterweight bout at T- MobileArena. The main card airs on pay-per-view after the preliminaries on ESPNNews and ESPN+.

Chimaev is currently the heavy betting favorite heading into the contest, and he said he intends to live up to those expectations by beating Diaz. Internally, though, Chimaev hopes Diaz (20-13 MMA, 15-11 UFC) can give him a long, competitive fight.

“What are you going to do? (The) fight (is) at 170,” Chimaev told MMA Junkie and other reporters at the UFC 279 press day. “I can also fight at heavyweight. I don’t think that guy is going to survive a round. I hope he can survive five rounds. It’s good for him. He shows his heart and walks out of the UFC being a warrior. If he beats him in the first round, everyone will say the guy is too old and ‘Uncle Diaz will have to go home.’”

For Chimaev, UFC 279 represents a significant moment in his career. Headlining a pay-per-view event against a name of Diaz’s caliber is no easy feat, and he’s doing it in just his sixth fight with the organization.

“Every moment in the UFC is a big moment for me,” Chimaev said. “It feels amazing that I am fighting Nate Diaz. One of the guys who’s been in the UFC for like 15 years. One of the legends. It may be his last fight. Who knows. I’m happy.”

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When the time comes to be locked inside the octagon, Chimaev said that there will be no pleasure in this moment and no holding back. He wants to continue to flourish and show that he can shine on the biggest stages.

“I’m going to go cut off his head,” Chimaev said. “I come here, I don’t take the points and I play the games. I come here to crush someone and take their head off.”

For more information on the card, visit the MMA Junkie event hub for UFC 279.

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About the Author: Pierre Cohen

A person who has expertise in politics and writes articles to fill his spare time as a hobby.