After a long period of uncertainty, dispute, and social media jabs, Diaz has finally had the final fight of his active UFC contract booked. And should he leave the promotion following the September 10 main event, he’ll be doing so off the back of a bout against one of the hottest names in the Octagon right now.
Having extended his perfect professional record to 11-0 earlier this year by adding the name of welterweight elite Gilbert Burns to his résumé, Chimaev finds himself inside the top five and within touching distance of the belt.
Although his next outing won’t come against a ranked name, Diaz is certainly a bigger one globally than those within the upper echelon of the welterweight division.
While Diaz consistently called for a matchup with Chimaev to be made, even accusing the Chechen-born Swede of turning it down, many have suggested that the fight is a way for the promotion to send the Stockton native into free agency off the back of a tough defeat.
But supporting the longtime Octagon presence in his goal to shock the world come September 10 is one of Chimaev’s previously-rumored opponents.
Muhammad Backs Diaz To “Ruin” The Chimaev Party
Last month, Muhammad, the current #5-ranked welterweight, attended a UFC 280 press conference in London ahead of his October fight with undefeated contender Sean Brady.
When asked whether he believes an impressive victory over Brady in Abu Dhabi could be enough to book him against the champion next, “Remember The Name” suggested that the promotion is hoping to set up a title shot for Chimaev following Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards next month.
With that in mind, Muhammad is firmly in the corner of fan favorite Diaz for the UFC 279 headliner.
“The big money fight that they’re trying to make is Khamzat against the winner of Kamaru against Leon,” Muhammad said. “But for me, I’m team Diaz over here. So, Nate, hit my line and I’ll come out there and help you train. We’ll win this fight.”
Last month, both Muhammad and Chimaev appeared to give a green light for a potential bout down the line, with “Borz” outlining October in Abu Dhabi as his desired date, to which Muhammad said “deal.”
With Chimaev now set to fight a month earlier on US soil against Diaz, Muhammad is looking to spur the Stockton native to victory, having been “lied to” by the Chechen-born Swede.
“I mean, who’s not a Nate Diaz fan? I’m always a Diaz fan. Chimaev lied to me. He told me he was going to meet me, he didn’t hit me up, he didn’t answer my calls. So, now I’m team Diaz and I’m hoping he ruins the party, ’cause obviously, we know what (fight) they [UFC] want to make.”
Nevertheless, Muhammad still has his plane ticket to Abu Dhabi secured, as he looks to add his name as the opening blemish on the blossoming record of Brady. Should both Muhammad and Chimaev emerge victorious in their respective upcoming bouts, it stands to reason that they’ll eventually share the Octagon together.
Do you agree with Belal Muhammad? Or will you be backing Khamzat Chimaev come UFC 279?