Khamzat Chimaev is arguably one of the most devastating prospects the UFC has ever seen. The Swede sailed to #3 in the welterweight rankings after just five fights inside the octagon and has finished ten out of his eleven bouts overall.
He faces Nate Diaz at UFC 279 in Las Vegas. Dana White has promised him a title shot if he wins,
“It’s fair. I don’t ever do that s**t but it’s fair to say if he wins that’s the fight to make. (Kamaru Usman) already beat everybody twice in the top whatever, so yeah, that makes sense.”
Dana White declared a Kamaru Usman vs. Khamzat Chimaev title fight "makes sense" if they win their upcoming bouts. 🏆
Full story: https://t.co/YbcMuGf3zp pic.twitter.com/nXFkYdy2Bd
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) August 17, 2022
Chimaev has racked up wins at both 170lbs and 185lbs in the UFC and has also talked openly about challenging for the light heavyweight belt, currently held by Jiri Prochazka. It sound like White won’t stand in his way if he wants a light heavyweight title shot,
“You know what doesn’t make sense? 205. But you know what? Look what the guy has done. He said, ‘I want to go fight at 205′. What am I gonna do? What am I gonna tell him, right? Why would you not give him the opportunity?”
Diaz is much more experienced than Chimaev. He has been on the UFC roster since 2007 and fought 26 times inside the octagon, winning 15 of those bouts.
But he lacks international experience. Whereas Chimaev has fought on Abu Dhabi four times Diaz has only fought outside of North America once, on a Pancrase card in 2005.
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Diaz will be a massive underdog but this will be his 11th time fighting on a UFC card in Las Vegas. He knows the territory well and White thinks that people are guilty of overlooking the veteran,
“I did a bunch of media today and everybody’s counting Nate Diaz out. These are the kind of stories, it’s almost like you just saying to me earlier, it’s like people are counting Leon Edwards out. You can’t count anybody out. In this sport, you never know what’s going to happen. Anything is possible.”