Nate Diaz’s final fight of his UFC contract appears to be set against welterweight phenom Khamzat Chimaev.
Diaz appears to have moved away from the Dustin Poirier matchup that was supposed to be imminent at the beginning of this year. After asking for Chimaev since April according to his representative Zach Rosenfield, both Diaz and Chimeav have verbally agreed to the fight which will be at UFC 279, according to an ESPN interview with UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell.
Diaz came back into the news when UFC president Dana White was asked about his comments about being held “hostage” and not officially being offered a fight at UFC Vegas 59 last Saturday.
White denied Diaz’s allegations and simply said that they were trying to get Diaz his fight, adding that the UFC needs to offer each fighter three fights per year.
The UFC tried to book Diaz vs. Chimaev last November, but Diaz reportedly turned down the matchup.
The last fight of Diaz (20-13-1), 37, was the unanimous decision loss to Leon Edwards at UFC 263 in June 2021, his second straight defeat. He is expected to explore other combat sports avenues once his UFC contract is fulfilled.
Meanwhile, the No. 3 Chimaev (11-0-0), 28, has run through the welterweight division but encountered some resistance in his last bout, a unanimous decision victory over Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 in April.
UFC 279 is scheduled for Sept. 10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Current bouts include:
#3 KHAMZAT CHIMAEV (11-0-0) VS. NATE DIAZ (20-13-0)
#4 IRENE ALDANA (13-6-0) VS. #10 MACY CHIASSON (8-2-0)
SHAMIL ABDURAKHIMOV (20-7-0) VS. JAILTON ALMEIDA (16-2-0)
NORMA DUMONT (7-2-0) VS. DANYELLE WOLF (1-0-0)
HEILI ALATENG (15-8-2) VS. CHAD HELIANGER (12-5-0)
MELISSA MARTINEZ (7-0-0) VS. ELISE REED (5-2-0)
DENIS TIULIULIN (9-6-0) VS. JAMIE PICKETT (13-7-0)
More bouts are expected to be announced.