If all goes according to plan, we could see a major matchup between Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz.
That is is what UFC President Dana White told TMZ Sports earlier this week. This comes after Chimaev returned to action to beat Li Jingliang at UFC 267 this past weekend. Chimaev had an interest in fighting anyone, from Neil Magny to Diaz. White brought up Diaz as a bout that could be very enticing to both fighters and the UFC.
“We’re going to talk to Nate about it,” White would state. “One hundred percent."
Chimaev, 27, made an immediate impact with Brave CF, which caught White's attention. He would make his UFC debut in July 2020, beating John Phillips via D'Arce Choke. That would be the first of three fights won in 2020 for Chimaev, beating Rhys McKee and Gerald Meerschaert via some form of KO. The latter win earned him the record for the fastest time to obtain a three-fight winning streak (66) in UFC history.
Scheduled to face Leon Edwards in December 2020, Chimaev would test positive for COVID-19. This started a long battle with the virus where it would make his ability to breathe extremely difficult. At first retiring in March 2021, Chimaev would return in grand fashion against Jingliang, beating him via rear-naked choke.
His impact and run in the sport has not gone unnoticed
"This guy is like nothing anyone's ever seen," White went on to say. "When you think about it, he's got more UFC wins than he's been hit inside the octagon. That's insane. And the other night, our social team, they filmed his walkout live on Instagram Live. It broke the record, it’s the biggest Instagram Live we’ve ever done.”
Diaz, 36, has been fighting since 2004. The winner of The Ultimate Fighter 5, Diaz has competed against a who's who of fighters. After going 1-1 against Conor McGregor in 2016, Diaz would not fight again until 2019, where he beat Anthony Pettis. Diaz would face Jorge Masvidal in November 2019, losing to him inside Madison Square Garden for the BMF Title.
Returning in 2021, Diaz faced Leon Edwards at UFC 262. Edwards was in control of the bout, but Diaz, in a losing effort, landed crisp shots towards the end. Diaz has recently shown interest in fighting Tony Ferguson and Vicente Luque.