Khamzat Chimaev reintroduced himself to the masses this past Saturday with a first-round submission over Li Jingliang at UFC 267. The undefeated welterweight also sent a clear message to the rest of the division: He was back and ready for anyone and everyone.
Chimaev spoke to assembled media during his post-fight press conference and specified the names he was particularly interested in meeting for his next appearance. The 27-year-old requested two of the biggest stars the promotion currently has to offer in either Jorge Masvidal or Nate Diaz.
Chimaev had challenged Masvidal and Diaz before on social media but received no response from the UFC veterans.
“Hey Diaz, let’s go brother,” said Chimaev. “Let’s go. You gonna get some smoke, bro. Let’s see who is the real gangster. Masvidal in his last fight, he has some belt. I don’t know. Bad motherf—king belt or something. I’m gonna take everything from this UFC, brother. Now, I am [the] UFC, brother.”
One of those names caught the attention of UFC president Dana White, who told TMZ Sports in an interview released on Tuesday that Chimaev vs. Diaz sounds like a good idea. White praised Chimaev and revealed that he would approach Diaz about the fight.
“This guy is like nothing anybody’s ever seen,” said White. “When you think about, he’s got more UFC wins than he’s been hit inside the Octagon. It’s insane. And the other night, our social team, they filmed his walkout live on Instagram Live, it broke the record. It’s the biggest Instagram Live we’ve ever done.
“We’re gonna talk to Nate about it. One hundred percent [interested in making that fight].”
Diaz has one fight left on his UFC contract and hinted at fights against Vicente Luque and Tony Ferguson, but neither of those was close to being made official. The 36-year-old returned to the Octagon at UFC 263, where he dropped a unanimous decision to Leon Edwards.