On September 10th at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, an incredible era comes to an end as Nate Diaz fights for the final time against contender Khamzat Chimaev.
It’s been 15 years since the younger Diaz brother defeated Manny Gamburyan after the Armenian dislocated his shoulder during a takedown attempt, and since then he’s never looked back.
26 fights, eight Fight of the Night awards (tied with Frankie Edgar for the most) and the first man to defeat Conor McGregor in what was the biggest fight in the history of the promotion at the time. It’s been an incredible career that he’s had, but all good things have to come to an end.
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Unfortunately for Diaz, his next opponent is the contender on the precipice of a title challenge, Khamzat Chimaev. The Swedish-Chechen fighter is another legend in the making, having rose in popularity during the pandemic when he fought three times in 66 days as the UFC scrambled to put shows on for fans and fighters alike.
With an unbeaten 11-0 record, Chimaev has been focusing on improving his striking since the beginning of the year, having worked with Liverpool’s Darren Till in Sweden.
Speaking to ESPN ahead of his latest booking, Khamzat said “I am going to handle Nate Diaz’s funeral.”
This booking from the UFC comes after Diaz spoke to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Show, where he revealed that he believed the company was holding him ‘hostage’ through his contract, as they tried to book a trilogy fight with Conor McGregor.
A fight against Chimaev is a tough ask for anyone, but a fight for a person the age of Diaz, 37, is dangerous. Former undefeated Bellator & ONE Championship welterweight champion Ben Askren commented, “This might be really ugly,” in response to the announcement of the fight on Twitter.
The fight is scheduled on the UFC 279 card taking place in Las Vegas as a five-round main event bout, and replaces the bantamweight title fight between Aljamain Sterling vs TJ Dillashaw, which will be moved to the UFC 280 card instead.
Other fights on the main event are yet to be confirmed by the UFC, but expect announcements in the coming weeks.
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