Khamzat Chimaev returned to the Octagon on Saturday night at UFC 267 after a long battle with Covid-19 and quickly served up a reminder of why he’s so highly regarded as he choked Li Jingliang unconscious midway through the first round.
That took the 27-year-old’s record to a perfect 10-0 and he’s now eyeing a high-profile fight with Nate Diaz next.
“Hey, Diaz, let’s go, brother,” Chimaev said after his win. “Let’s go. You gonna get some smoke, bro. Let’s see who is the real gangster.”
Diaz reportedly only has one fight left on his current deal with the UFC, and it seems that White likes the idea of Chimaev being his opponent.
“We’re gonna talk to Nate about it,” White confirmed to TMZ Sports. “One hundred percent.”
“One hundred percent, this guy is like nothing that anybody’s ever seen. When you think about, he’s got more UFC wins than he’s been hit inside the octagon. Insane. And the other night, our social team, they filmed his walkout on Instagram Live, it broke the record. It’s the biggest Instagram Live we’ve ever done.”
The 36-year-old Diaz has lost three of his last four fights, so whether he wants to negotiate a better deal with the UFC at the end of his contract or test his worth on the open market then getting a win under his belt next time out is important, so he may want to think carefully about the risk / reward of agreeing to fight a rising star like Chimaev.