Does Nate Diaz Stand Any Chance Against Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279?

Does Nate Diaz Stand Any Chance Against Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279?
Photo by Alonso Reyes

On September 10th, the world will stand still once again, as Nate Diaz faces a herculean task against unbeaten Swede Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279. The fight was announced on July 19th and even the announcement sent the world into a tailspin. Diaz, who is now 36 years of age, is coming off the back of three losses in his previous four bouts spread across the last six years. As such, OddsChecker, which compares odds on upcoming UFC bouts have made the California native a massive underdog. And that’s because it will not be a man standing across from him in Las Vegas that night–it will be a beast. 

Khamzat Chimaev has proven himself to be a monster. He has decimated all that have stood before him inside the Octagon, taking his record to a perfect 11-0. His victory over Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 back in April was a huge step up in quality, and a test that he managed to pass, just. The pair of them engaged in a Fight of the Night slugfest, with the Chechen-born Swede doing just enough to get his hand raised. After that win he was expected to face the winner of the UFC Welterweight Championship bout between Kamaru Usman and Britain’s Leon Edwards however rather than waiting around for months, he will face Nate Diaz, in a fight he has very little to gain and everything to lose. 

The world expects him to decimate Diaz, as reflected in the betting odds. Admittedly the bout is his first pay-per-view main event, and a bucket load of cash will have definitely aided in the decision, but should he not look impressive in victory, his stock may fall. 

Diaz going out with a bang

The fight will mark the final fight on Nate Diaz’s UFC contract, and this may be the final time we see him fight in the organization. It’s safe to say that he is going out with a bang. And that is exactly what he has always tried to do. Ever since his call out of Conor McGregor in December 2015, the TUF season five winner has continually sought out some of the baddest dudes in the company. 

Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

After shockingly defeating the Notorious One, his star shone brighter than ever before, and even though McGregor avenged the loss five months later, that star didn’t dim. From there, he would call out, face, and beat former UFC Lightweight Champ Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis in a war. Not content with that victory, he would then demand a fight with Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal, claiming that there were no real gangsters left in the game except the Florida native and himself. 

Unfortunately, however, it was there that we saw Diaz slow down somewhat. He was rocked and wobbled on numerous occasions during his fight with Masvidal, eventually having to be pulled out by the doctor courtesy of horrific cuts both above and below his eye. That finish wasn’t what anyone wanted to see, but it was probably the right decision, Diaz was getting dominated, and if Gamebred can dominate, what do we think will happen when Chimaev steps in the cage with him? 

Could Chimaev gas, triggering a late rally from Diaz

One thing that’s for certain about Nate Diaz, he can go all night. Fatigue is never an issue for him and as the fights start to reach the latter stages, he tends to up his output and performance levels. Someone who doesn’t seem to do that is his opponent in September. 

Prior to the Burns fight, Chimaev hadn’t really been tested, comfortably handling all that was thrown at him. But against the former Welterweight title contender, he definitely slowed down in the second half of the fight. One person he can’t do that against is Diaz. And with this fight being a five-round fight, it is a possibility that the undefeated fighter could fade, allowing his opponent to take control. But whether Diaz can survive that long remains to be seen. 

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