Undefeated welterweight contender Khamzat Chimaev (11-0) faces seasoned veteran Nate Diaz (20-13) in the UFC 279 main event on Sept. 10 in Las Vegas.
Chimaev is ranked No. 3 in the 170-pound division. Diaz is unranked and coming off back-to-back losses. Diaz’ durability, conditioning and experience makes him a potential danger to anyone, but Chimaev believes that he’s going to run through the 37-year old.
“I can smash that guy easy,” Chimaev told The Mac Life. “That guy’s getting older. He’s not the guy that beat [Conor] McGregor. He’s not that young guy. This is his last fight. He’s going to lose his fight and go (do) some boxing sh*t. I kill him, you know, and kick him out. Let him go.”
The fight with Chimaev is the last fight on Diaz’ UFC contract. He’ll essentially be a free agent following the bout. He’s expressed interest in temporarily transitioning into boxing before returning to mixed martial arts to end his career.
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Chimaev was a fan of Diaz’ growing up. Despite Diaz being an inspiration for Chimaev, ‘Borz’ enjoys the thought of facing his former heroes, and defeating them.
“It’s nice to fight with that guy. When I was a kid, a young boy, I looked up to that guy, other guys” Chimaev said. “It’s nice to see them as well in the cage with me. Smash somebody who you looked up to.”
While Chimaev has every intention of making Diaz a highlight reel on Sept. 10, he has nothing but respect for Diaz.
“He’s a warrior. Nobody can take that from him. He comes to fight until the last second. Like he said always, kill or be killed,” Chimaev said. “Respect for him to take the fight. It’s a bad fight for him. You have to give him respect.”