After a strenuous battle with COVID-19 and even a suggestion of early retirement, no. 15 ranked welterweight Khamzat Chimaev is ready for a return to the octagon after taking the fight game by storm in 2020.
One opponent that has been discussed among fans and pundits of the sport after his appearance at UFC 261 is former Strikeforce welterweight champion and UFC title challenger Nick Diaz.
According to Chimaev’s manager Ali Abdelaziz however, that idea is not so bright.
“If this fight happens, everybody should go to jail. Everybody should go to jail. I should go to jail. The UFC, everybody. This is criminal,” Abdelaziz said to ESPN. “How are you gonna make Khamzat Chimaev, one of the most upcoming fighters, to fight a guy like Nick Diaz. It’s not even right.
“I’m not taking anything away from Nick. Nick had his time, he built his legacy. But I don’t wanna see this [fight]. If it happens, I’m not trying to go to jail. Khamzat’s not trying to go to jail. Because it will not be good.”
Rather than a fight with a veteran with name value, Abdelaziz is more interested in Chimaev fighting a ranked contender in the welterweight division.
“Listen, I know one guy. I’m gonna give him a little bit of clout. He said he’s gonna slap Khamzat and he has a fight coming up,” Abdelaziz said. “Neil Magny, right. I think this is the fight to make if he wins.”
A potential matchup with the no. 9 ranked Magny would be a significant opportunity to jump into the top 10 along with a chance to further add to Chimaev’s already impressive star power.