Ever since Khamzat Chimaev vs Nate Diaz was announced for UFC 279 inside T-Mobile Arena, fans have been questioning the UFC’s decision to book that fight. Some have even gone on to claim that the UFC is trying to bury Nate Diaz since he doesn’t want to renew his UFC contract and wants out.
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It won’t be wrong to say that Chimaev vs Diaz is a huge mismatch. While Diaz is not a natural welterweight, Chimaev is huge for his division, having fought numerous times in the middleweight division as well. Moreover, the stylistic aspect of this match-up also doesn’t favor Diaz, who will most likely have a very hard time against an elite grappler like Chimaev.
As fans continue to ponder what the reasons for this match-up might be, Dominick Cruz breaks down this genius move by the UFC.
UFC wants to leverage Nate Diaz’s name to promote Khamzat Chimaev
Dominick Cruz in a conversation with Schmo gave his analysis on why Chimaev vs Diaz means business for the UFC.
“How big is Diaz’s following. It’s huge, he’s got a huge following. So you want to put him against a guy who doesn’t have a huge following. Again, it’s about business for the UFC. If you get Khamzat to beat Diaz, then you kind of, sort of get Diaz’s following to Khamzat.” Cruz said.
He also added how Chimaev fights for “cheap amounts of money” and that’s what the UFC wants out of his fighters. Bringing in someone like Nate Diaz, who doesn’t really remain active, against someone who wants to fight every other day makes for an interesting case of selling the fight.
“What the UFC wants is, they like active fighters. Guys that are fighting two-three-four times a year for cheap amounts of money. Khamzat is that, Chito Vera is that. They fight a lot, and they fight for very cheap. And so that’s why they make these match-ups.”
“Bussiness is booming for the UFC, they know exactly what they are doing. They are geniuses.”
There’s no denying the ability of Diaz and Chimaev in selling a fight. It’s safe to say by the time we head into UFC 279, the expectation and excitement behind this fight will be off the charts. It’s Nate Diaz’s last fight on the contract, and against a fighter who wants nothing but to make a statement inside the Octagon. If the idea is selling the fight, Khamzat Chimaev vs Nate Diaz makes absolute sense.