Khamzat Chimaev won’t back down from fighting Team Diaz if provoked before UFC 279


Things can get volatile at a Nate Diaz press conference. Khamzatchimaev may be counting on that.

If there is a skirmish among Chimaev, his teammates and Team Diaz prior to UFC 279, then the Chechen fighter stated that he will not back down.

“If they wanna fight before (Saturday), f*** the money, brother,” Chimaev told ESPN. They can fight me. Fighting is what I enjoy. It’s what I love – it’s my work to fight.

“I’ve been born for war. I’m inside a warrior. [I] don’t care. You don’t need to care about the money, or who’s behind them. Just fight. We will see what happens.”

Diaz infamously halted a press conference for his UFC 202 rematch with Conor McGregor when he and his teammates tossed cans and water bottles at the Irish star, sparking a back and forth that led to suspensions and fines (and a lawsuit against McGregor).

Diaz was also front and center for perhaps the most infamous brawl in MMA history, a melee with Jason Miller during the CBS telecast of Strikeforce: Nashville that ended the now-defunct promotion’s time on network TV.

When Chimaev was asked what he expected from the UFC 279, press conference, which will take place in Las Vegas on Thursday, he wasn’t certain.

“When he speaks, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t understand so much,” Chimaev said of Diaz. “I don’t think the guy’s talking good English. His English is not perfect because he smokes a lot. My English isn’t perfect

There are gestures that don’t need to be translated, and considering Diaz’s past with the UFC, as well as the circumstances surrounding this fight, it’s likely something will occur when they answer questions for media.

“We will see what happens,” Chimaev said. “I’m gonna have some fun and sit there, and if he wants to fight there with his team, I have like 20 guys with me. We’ll fight with all the teams, you know. It is my hope. It would be amazing if this happens .”

That’s not music to UFC President Dana White’s ears, but Chimaev likes his chances if something pops off.

“His team is old, brother,” the 28-year-old welterweight star said of his opponent’s crew. My team is young. This is what we do. … His team [is] almost handicapped, brother.”

Check out the complete Chimaev interview from ESPN.