Nate Diaz Will Fight Khamzat Chimaev In UFC 279 Headliner

Nate Diaz has verbally agreed to fight Khamzat Chimaev in a headlining bout at UFC 279 on September 10th in Las Vegas.

The dramatic news was announced by UFC Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell, who confirmed that it will be a five round main event fight.

Diaz, who has made it known publicly for some time that he wants to leave the promotion, had recently claimed the UFC were “holding him hostage” by not giving him the final fight on his current contract, believing that they were trying to hold out until a trilogy fight with Conor McGregor could be booked next year.

However, Diaz had been adamant that he didn’t want to wait around for McGregor to heal from his broken leg and that he wanted to fight out his contract and leave as soon as possible.

And so, he now finds himself accepting a fight that many people believe to be a poisoned chalice – going up against one of the most feared fighters in the sport right now in Chimaev, who holds an 11-0 record and five wins in the UFC so far.

And for the record, there was talk of the UFC trying to book this fight as far back as late last year, with Diaz appearing to be unenthused by the idea, calling Chimaev a “rookie”, which had led to Dana White retaliating by suggesting that fighters didn’t want that booking because Chimaev is, “an absolute savage.”

At that time there was a sense that this match-up didn’t really make much sense, with Chimaev in such dominant form and rising fast up the rankings towards title contention, while Diaz had lost three of his last four fights and wasn’t even in the top 15.

That still appears to be the general consensus all these months later, with Ben Askren summing up the situation with his post stating that, “😬😬😬 this might be really ugly.”

That being said, if Diaz did manage to deliver a major underdog upset and beat Chimaev it wouldn’t be the first time that he’d derailed a UFC hype train, having previously become the first fighter to beat Conor McGregor in the UFC.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.