Chimaev will face Diaz in one of the most highly anticipated headliners of the year at UFC 279 on Sept. 10. The fight puts two of the biggest fan favorites in the UFC against one another in a five-round grudge match.
Chimaev, who has won 11 straight fights to begin his professional career, is the massive betting favorite leading up to the bout with Diaz. This is also Diaz’s last fight on his UFC contract and his first since a loss to Leon Edwards at UFC 263.
Despite the sportsbooks picking him to run through Diaz with relative ease, Chimaev doesn’t care what they think leading into the fight.
Khamzat Chimaev Cites Sport’s Unpredictability To Dismiss Odds
During a recent interview on The MMA Hour, Chimaev scoffed at being the heavy betting favorite over Diaz.
“Who cares about that? For me, it doesn’t matter,” Chimaev admitted. “When I was beginning my career, I was fighting a guy (who was) 8-0. He was world champion, something like that. Some guys from my country (said), ‘Oh, that guy’s gonna beat you,’ and (I was only 1-0.).
“And now, people are saying, ‘Oh, you’re gonna win the fight.’ But Diaz lost his fights. That’s why I think he’s underdog. If he was on winning streak, this has to be like 50-50. People gonna think like, ‘Oh, he’s also good shape.’ Now, everyone talking the guy’s like old, this shit. But it’s still a fight. Fighting is dangerous, you know? I’m just happy to fight with that guy.”
Chimaev has also dismissed that there’s any animosity towards Diaz ahead of UFC 279. Diaz recently alluded to Chimaev and him not liking each other, which Chimaev later denied and instead praised Diaz.
Some UFC fans and pundits have criticized the Chimaev/Diaz matchup as being unfair for Diaz’s last fight in the Octagon. Yet, UFC President Dana White claims it’s a fight that Diaz wanted.
What makes MMA so great is the fact that anything can happen when the cage doors close. Accordingly, Chimaev doesn’t put much stock into sports bettors predicting what may happen in fights.
Do you believe Nate Diaz can defeat Khamzat Chimaev?