Despite the impending completion of his contractual obligations with the organization, one-time lightweight title challenger, Nate Diaz would likely land himself a shot at welterweight gold should he spring an upset and defeat Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279 next month, per UFC president, Dana White.
Diaz, who retains just a single fight on his current UFC contract, is set to complete his obligations with the promotion in September, drawing the undefeated, #3 ranked welterweight contender, Chimaev atop a UFC 279 pay-per-view card in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The outing will come as Stockton veteran, Diaz’s first since June of last year, where he featured in the first five round, non-title, non-main event in promotional history against incoming UFC 278 main event star, Leon Edwards.
Part of a rather precarious relationship with the promotion in the time since as he attempts to exit the UFC following lengthy stay with the organization, Diaz has noted his interest in competing in other sports and disciplines post-UFC run. And has failed to ever concretely express an interest in re-upping with the organization.
However, as per UFC president, September 10. likely not only comes as a potential title-eliminator for the streaking Chimaev, but for Diaz as well, despite his contract situation.
“I mean, obviously, if Nate (Diaz) beats Khamzat Chiamev, the number three guy in the world, you’d have to look at Nate, too [for a title shot],” Dana White told The Underground reporter, John Morgan. “Everybody’s talking… like that it’s impossible for Nate Diaz to win this fight. Nothing is impossible in fighting. Everything is possible.”
Receiving flak for booking the expected one-sided affair between Chimaev and Diaz, White insists that the latter’s veteran expertise paired with his experience savvy should deter onlookers from picking against him.
“Nate Diaz wanted this fight,” Dana White explained. “It was either this fight or Francis Ngannou. This fight makes a lot more sense than Francis does. But, you know, for everybody to think that a veteran who’s as durable as Nate Diaz can’t win this fight is insane, so anything is possible. … You get out of the first two rounds and the fight gets interesting.” (Transcribed by MMA Mania)
Nate Diaz is tasked with snapping a two-fight skid against Khamzat Chimaev
Without a victory since August 2019, Diaz managed to turn in an impressive unanimous decision win over former UFC and WEC lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis on that occasion.