Nate Diaz appears to have gotten his wish from the UFC, but his next fight has a chance to be a potential mismatch — and not in his favour.
Diaz is set to face rising star Khamzat Chimaev on Sept. 10 in the main event of UFC 279, according to ESPN.
Diaz is on the last fight of his deal and had been in the midst of a contract dispute with the UFC for most of 2022. He told Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour” last week that he felt the UFC was “holding me hostage” as they had failed at the point to find an opponent for his last contracted fight. Many, including Diaz himself, have speculated that he will immediately box UFC president Dana White’s longtime nemesis, Jake Paul, after fulfilling his contract with the UFC.
Chimaev sounds more than ready to help Diaz say goodbye to the MMA promotion.
“I am going to handle Nate Diaz’s funeral with the UFC,” Chimaev said in statement via ESPN.
It is a very curious piece of matchmaking by the UFC as the 28-year-old Chimaev (11-0-0) is the No. 3 ranked welterweight in the company while Diaz, 37, has lost two of this past three fights. But Diaz’s representative told ESPN that “this is a fight Nate has been asking for since the middle of April.”
Oddsmakers are not expecting this one to be very competitive, either. Sports betting apps have made Chimaev a -1100 favorite for this bout, while Diaz comes in at +750. This is one of the more lopsided opening lines that we have seen all year.