Nate Diaz Vs. Khamzat Chimaev: ‘It’s A Fight People Want To See’
The UFC and Nate Diaz saga will see its end when the latter faces Chechen-Swedish sensation, Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 270 in September.
Both fighters have a knack for producing the most unanticipated actions inside the octagon. But setting up that bout wasn’t an easy piece of work as insisted by UFC president Dana White.
“I care about Nate a lot,” White said in his post-fight press conference after Tuesday’s Contender Series event.
“I like Nate, and Nate came in here, long before that fight was ever made, and we were talking about it being his last fight.”
Initially, both fighters had their reservations regarding the bout but the promotion was, somehow, able to convince the concerned parties and get them on terms.
“Getting a fight done with him [Nate] isn’t as easy as seems. Everybody’s like, ‘Well, why don’t you make a fight?’ Well, he asked for Francis Ngannou. I could go on forever, but I won’t. We got it done. That’s the fight he wanted,” White added.
Diaz hasn’t shared a cordial relationship with the UFC and White for a while now, accusing them of holding him “hostage” by plunging him to sign a new contract rather than booking a fight.
The Stockton native has only one fight remaining in his current contract.
In a recent appearance on Ariel Hewani’s show, The MMA Hour, Diaz shared the details of his ongoing row with White.
The 37-year-old southpaw narrated that White did pitch several fights to him but left unexpectedly when he refused to sign a new contract.
Diaz told Hewani that UFC is trying to hold him under contract in order to have him complete a trilogy with Conor McGregor, the former two-division champion.
Though White didn’t rule out the possibility of a trilogy fight, he did negate Diaz’s remarks regarding the possible McGregor-Diaz clash, adding that fight wasn’t offered any time between 2020 and now as McGregor is yet to recover from that broken leg injury.
“Conor’s not ready yet,” White said.
“Conor’s leg isn’t healed yet. Nate could obviously sit around and wait for that, but he doesn’t want it. I don’t know what he’s got planned or what he’s thinking, but right here, right now, he’s ready to fight. He wants to go, and we’re going.
“That’s one of those fights you can do any time, but no, it never worked out that way. Listen, if you get two guys like Conor and Nate, who want to fight each other bad enough, it ends up happening.”
On the other hand, the fight fans haven’t welcomed the decision of Diaz fighting Chimaev warmly as they believe it’s a blatant mismatch.
The MMA-onlookers think that Chimaev being young and hungry will end Nate’s UFC stint with a miserable beating. Former UFC welterweight and Commentator Dan Hardy said that it’s a “criminal” act and the promotion was staging an “assassination.”
But White doesn’t share the same views as the others as he feels like fans will be eager to see this fight.
“We made it, and here we are,” he said.
“And it’s a good fight. It’s a fight people want to see. It’s a fight that people will be interested in, so we’re going to do it.”