Khamzat Chimaev’s head coach Andreas Michael can’t understand why everyone is writing off Nate Diaz ahead of UFC 279.
Khamzat will meet Diaz in the UFC 279 main event at T-Mobile Arena and is taking his opponent very seriously despite the consensus that Diaz is at a considerable disadvantage and should never have accepted the fight in the first place.
Chimaev (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) is treating Diaz (20-13 MMA, 18-12 UFC) as the toughest test of his career thus far and knows The Ultimate Fighter 5 winner will be particularly dangerous, as this is the last fight on his UFC contract and potentially the last time we see him compete in MMA.
“It’s bullsh*t,” Michael, head coach of Allstar Training Center in Sweden, told Submission Radio. “Pure bullsh*t. Like, Nate Diaz has fought (everyone), and given Leon Edwards a run for his money. Like, alright, Leon Edwards was winning every round, but he gave Leon Edwards a tough fight. He’s at no means an easy opponent for us. And Nate Diaz is probably gonna make money.”
“At no means is it not beneficial for Nate, because for him to accept this fight, you can understand that he got paid or he is getting paid.” Michael added. “He’s not just going to accept this fight out of nowhere, you know? So it’s beneficial for him as well as it is for us – and it is a good fight. I think it’s a good fight. It’s a good name – a veteran of the game. He’s fought everyone and anyone, and it is a good experience; they were not taking him lightly. I don’t care what anyone says, this is as if we’re fighting for the title.”
Khamzat is one of the fastest-growing stars in the UFC and believes he is destined for championship success. The Chechen is undefeated after eleven fights and has won all but one of his UFC fights via stoppage, earning a hard-fought decision victory over Gilbert Burns in his most recent outing at UFC 273.
Diaz, by contrast, is 1-3 in his last four fights and is nearing the end of his UFC career after fifteen years with the promotion. He is unranked at welterweight but considered one of the toughest fighters in the division.
UFC 279: Chimaev vs. Diaz takes place on Sept. 10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.