Khamzat Chimaev’s game plan for his welterweight matchup with Nate Diaz is to go in and smash Diaz from pillar to post.
Chimaev’s only concern is that Diaz won’t show up on fight night. The latter has fought three times in the last three years and won just one of his last four fights.
‘Borz’ sent ‘skinny boy’ Diaz a warning ahead of their Sept. 10 matchup at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where both men are set to collide in the UFC 279 main event.
“I still don’t believe that guy’s going to come and show up,” Chimaev told Ariel Helwani during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour (h/t MMA Fighting). “That skinny boy. We will see what’s happening. I’m just waiting for the 10th of September – it doesn’t matter who. If he wants to fight [185 pounds], then we can do that… just show up. I can fight [at 185 or 205 pounds], it doesn’t matter.”
Khamzat (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) is excited about fighting a man he considers a legend of the sport but promises the fight won’t end well for Diaz (20-13 MMA, 15-11 UFC). The undefeated Chechnan predicts a first or second-round stoppage victory after either knocking Diaz out or forcing the UFC veteran to tap to a submission.
“I was in school when he was fighting in the UFC. It’s amazing to fight that guy, and I like him because for me UFC, when I was young, it was like the movies. Like, I’m not going to get there, I’m just going to see it. Now, I fight with the guys that I was watching. American guys, from Chechnya I watched them. Now, I fight with them,” Chimaev said.
“I just go in and smash his face. If we do striking, I knock him out, and if we go down, I submit him or smash his face, make him tap. We’ll see, whatever, for me it doesn’t matter. I don’t have some game plan and that s***. I don’t ask my coaches, I never talk about what I’m going to do in the fight. I just train what my coach said in my training. When we spar, if he says, ‘take him down,’ I take him down, if he says, ‘jab, move,’ I do these things – I listen to him.
“Then I go to the fight and I do exactly exactly the same I did in the sparring, and sometimes it’s take him down, submit him. Then I understand I have to do it in the cage as well when I come to the fight. This is my game plan, but you don’t see me, like, ‘Oh, he does this, he does that, he jabs like this, and this s***.’ I don’t believe in game plan or this s***. You fight like you fight.”
“One round, two rounds,” Khamzat said of his prediction on when the fight will end. “We’ll see.”
UFC 279: Chimaev vs. Diaz takes place on September 10 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is the last fight on Diaz’s current contract, with The Ultimate Fighter 5 winner expected to leave the UFC after over fifteen years with the promotion.
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