UFC president Dana White can’t exactly blame Nate Diaz for turning down a fight with Khamzat Chimaev.
Diaz, 36, felt disrespected the UFC even suggested the matchup due to Chimaev’s ‘rookie’ status — but White thinks Diaz had other reasons for rejecting the fight.
“Listen, man. Khamzat is a straight murderer,” White told TMZ Sports during a recent interview (h/t Clyde Aidoo of MMA News). “He’s a killer. He’s an absolute savage. And I don’t blame anybody for not wanting to fight Khamzat Chimaev”.
When asked specifically about Diaz’s reasoning for turning down the fight, White couldn’t help but smile at the latter dismissing Chimaev as a rookie.
“What do you think? What do you think? [SMILE GROWS WIDER] Listen, everybody in this business, everybody in this company is here because they belong here,” White said. “There are no real ‘rookies’ per se here. There are guys with more experience and some guys with some less experience.”
“Khamzat Chimaev is one of those guys that’s willing to fight anybody in multiple weight classes on short notice,” he added. “He’s doing wrestling matches. If it’s a fight, he’s in, and he wants to fight you. And that’s the reality. I mean, people can spin Khamzat however they want to and I don’t blame ’em.”
Diaz has just one fight left on his contract, so it’s understandable why he wouldn’t want to fight an opponent who only made his UFC debut last year.
Chimaev is 4-0 since signing with the promotion in 2020, winning all four fights via stoppage. ‘Borz’ was last seen in action at UFC 267 where he earned a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus for his first-round thrashing of Li Jingliang at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena. He won the fight via first-round submission.