Add Daniel Cormier to the growing list of fighters concerned about Nate Diaz’s safety heading into his welterweight matchup with Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279.
Cormier acknowledges Diaz is a legend of the sport and is as tough as they come but thinks the Stockton, Calif. local has little to nothing to gain from fighting Khamzat at this stage in his career, labeling the fight a mismatch.
With that said, ‘DC’ doesn’t expect Diaz, 37, to ‘go down quietly’ in what could be his final fight in the UFC against Chimaev.
“You know what RC, I don’t believe that Nate will go down quietly,” Cormier said on the DC & RC podcast (h/t BJPenn.com). “I just think that at this point in their careers, Nate is on a different path than Khamzat Chimaev. Nate will tell you there’s still championship aspirations because he’s a fighter and is as tough as they come. But when you look at what he’s done recently, you can’t just say Nate Diaz is in title contention. Popularity-wise, sure. But in terms of what he’s put on paper in regard to his fighting, you can’t say that.”
“Khamzat is every bit of what you would expect a soon-to-be title challenger to be,” he added. “If he gets past Nate Diaz, which will be his biggest win to date, even though the Gilbert Burns fight was fun, it will not be as valuable as a win over Nathan Diaz… I think these guys are in different points of their careers right now, and I believe it’s a mismatch.”
The five-round, non-title fight main event will mark Diaz’s last fight on his current deal, with The Ultimate Fighter 5 winner expected to explore free agency following the bout.
UFC 279: Chimaev vs. Diaz takes place on Sept. 10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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