UFC executives led by Dan White probably did not expect to be met with so much criticism after announcing the match between Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz. On September 10 (ninth month) we are waiting for this showdown in the welterweight category, and it is a fight for which the question "what is the meaning of this pairing?" Khamzat Chimaev is one step away from a shot at the belt, while Nate Diaz is unranked and on the way out of the UFC.
The promotion faces criticism that they deliberately gave Diaz the worst possible opponent in terms of style, in order to lower his value as much as possible before leaving the promotion. Not the right way to see off a legend like Nate.
Dana White will try hard to "sell" us this match as a fight in which both have a good chance to win and for the next month and a half, he will claim that it is a good and meaningful fight. Hardly anyone will believe him, but no one prevents him from working hard on his ideas.
Dan Hardy, Daniel Cormier, Josh Thomson, and Ben Askren are just some of the famous MMA faces who characterized this match as an absolute "mismatch" Such criticism does not sit well with White, and in a conversation with Aaron Bronsteter, he explained why this is a fight that could surprise us.
"Nate Diaz has that gangster mentality"
"So was Amanda Nunes, so was Ronda Rousey, I can go on for days with this. This is a sport where nobody is that big of a favorite. Anybody can win at any given time. One thing that you saw in the Gilbert Burns fight, let’s not forget this about Khamzat Chimaev, as badass as he is, as explosive, all the things that he’s done, he doesn’t have all the experience all of these other people have."
Dana White continued, "Nate Diaz is durable, he’s been in there with everybody, it’s his last fight going out, nobody is that big of an underdog. Not in the UFC… Nate Diaz has that gangster mentality, Khamzat Chimaev has that gangster mentality.
People love that s*it." The UFC president was actually doing a review of the odds that the bookmakers recently put out regarding this match. The coefficient for the victory of Diaz is on average about 8.5, while the coefficient for the victory of Chimaev is 1.10.
That speaks volumes for what the experts in the field think about this matchup, and White will have a lot of work convincing us that this is a matchup in which both fighters have an equal chance of winning. As for Nunes and Rousey, White referred to their surprising losses to Julianne Pena (Nunes) and Holly Holm (Rousey) at times when they seemed untouchable.