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Khamzat Chimaev: ‘Respect’ to Nate Diaz for accepting fight, ‘he knows I’m younger and I’m hungry’

“Respect for that guy (for taking) that fight,” Chimaev said. “He knows I’m younger (and) I’m hungry.”

UFC 273: Volkanovski v The Korean Zombie
Khamzat Chimaev will take on Nate Diaz in the UFC 279 main event.
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Khamzat Chimaev isn’t sure why Nate Diaz is under the impression that ‘Borz’ doesn’t like him ahead of their welterweight matchup at UFC 279.

Diaz might be going into this fight with a chip on his shoulder, but Chimaev wants to reassure the latter that he has no bad blood and doesn’t want things to turn sour in the pre-fight buildup.

Khamzat (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) actually grew up watching Diaz (20-13 MMA, 15-11 UFC) fight on TV and says it will be an honor to share the cage with a true O.G. of the sport on Sept. 10.

“Nate, he said like, ‘He don’t like me, I don’t like him,’ this type of stuff. I like that guy,” Chimaev clarified during a recent interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour (h/t MMA News). “I (grew) up on him, you know? I was in school when he was fighting in the UFC. It’s amazing to fight that guy, and I like him.”

Khamzat also respects Diaz for accepting the fight knowing he is going up against a much younger, hungrier competitor such as himself.

“Respect for that guy (for taking) that fight,” Chimaev said. “He knows I’m younger (and) I’m hungry. I’m going up and take my belt, and the guy show up and fight with me. Respect for him.”

UFC 279: Chimaev vs. Diaz takes place on Sept. 10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.