Nate Diaz isn’t blind to the UFC’s motivations for UFC 279.
Diaz is set to face rising star Khamzat Chimaev in a non-title welterweight bout as the main event of the Sept. 10 pay-per-view, which takes place in Las Vegas. With just one fight left on Diaz’s UFC contract, UFC 279 is expected to be his swan song with the promotion, so it isn’t a big leap for Diaz to guess what the UFC’s goals are by matching a 37-year-old fan-favorite against MMA Fighting’s No. 3 ranked welterweight in the world.
Diaz is already more than a 7-to-1 underdog on most sportsbooks, and in an interview Tuesday with ESPN, Diaz emphasized that Chimaev isn’t even a fight he wanted.
“What they’ve got me doing right now is they’re acting like I called for this fight, which I didn’t call for, and I don’t want, and didn’t want, and still don’t want,” Diaz said. “But I don’t give a f***, I’ll fight anybody. But the pressure’s on him — he better finish me, because he’s the next killer in town.
“Because… they will say to me, “Oh, he wasn’t the best in town.” [otherwise]. I asked for 20 fights, 10 fights, 15 fights.
” This fight isn’t even about him. Diaz said, “It’s all about this guy.” “It’s about making this motherf*****, right? It’s about making this motherf*****, right? I’ve got to make somebody for you? Well, alright — you’re welcome. Let’s get started. You’re welcome, UFC. You’re welcome, Dubai. All motherf ****** from your country are welcome to join you. You’re welcome. It’s just halftime. I’m just getting started.”
Diaz has been very open with his callsouts after his June 2021 loss to Leon Edwards. Edwards is currently the UFC’s welterweight champion.
Over the past year, Diaz repeatedly — and very publicly — called for bouts against action fighters Vicente Luque and Dustin Poirier, among others; callouts which both Luque and Poirier reciprocated. Particularly, the Poirier fight attracted a large fan base.
But the UFC instead opted to give the assignment to Chimaev, a 27-year-old wrestler who is unbeaten (11-0) thus far in his MMA career.
Chimaev is already being hailed as the future champion in the welterweight division by many, so Diaz doesn’t seem to be unaware of UFC’s plans as he moves toward free agency. He said Tuesday that he feels as if he’s going into war against “the organization, everybody.”
“Why’s the UFC been disrespecting and making me be like their fall guy or something? F*** him, f*** them, f*** everybody,” Diaz said. “And this is just the start for me. The UFC isn’t bringing this fight to you. This fight was brought to you straight the f*** by [Diaz’s new promotion] Real Fight, Inc. It’s not UFC that puts on Nate Diaz against whatever his f name. This is you and the motherf ***** against me. Get your f ****** lost.
“And let me tell you something, let’s say I do lose and get my ass whooped by this motherf***** who you guys are saying is the thing to have ever happened coming up, right? … Let’s just say I get my f****** ass stomped, let’s just say that happens for a second, and everybody’s saying that … guess what? There’s still a no-cost agent who may have just gotten his arse stomped, but is still the No. 2 fighter in the world, because he just f***** up the champion of the welterweight division and he’s losing to the guy you’re claiming is the next biggest, best thing. You have to get this done, because it’s uphill, momf . I don’t give a f***.
” If I f ****** it to ruin, ha, ha — this is what you get for being too patient with me .”