UFC 279: Khamzat Chimaev Says He “Grew Up” Watching Nate Diaz But Won’t Be Going Easy On Him

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Saikat Banerjee
A wordsmith who indulges in the world of combat sports, Saikat Banerjee is an MMA, boxing, and arm wrestling content writer at The MMA India Show and The Sports Room. Apart from combat sports, he also engages in Indian sports content at The Sports India Show. Currently pursuing an MBA from Jadavpur University, Saikat's other interests lie in motorcycling, working out, and travelling.
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Undefeated UFC Welterweight contender Khamzat Chimaev (11-0) did grow up watching Nate Diaz (20-13) in the Octagon, but when the two share the cage at UFC 279 in September, Chimaev makes it clear that he won’t be going easy on his childhood idol.

I’m going to show who’s the gangster: Khamzat Chimaev

After weeks of discordance and speculations, Nate Diaz’s final UFC fight has been confirmed. The former UFC Lightweight and BMF title contender, who has just one fight left on his current contract, with exhaust it out this 10th of September as he’s now slated to take on Khamzat Chimaev in the main event of UFC 279.

While he’s on a two fight losing streak, Diaz remains one of the most popular fighters on the current roster and a fan favourite, even for Chimaev, who revealed to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour that he grew up watching the Stockton superstar and will now step inside the Octagon against his icon.

“They say he don’t like me and I don’t like him, too. I like that guy,” said Chimaev, “I grew up on him. I went to school when he was fighting in the UFC. It’s amazing to fight that guy. I like him. You’ve seen in the movies. If it wasn’t for me, when I was young, the UFC was like movies. Like, ‘I’m never going to get there. I’m just going to see that.’ Now, I’m fighting with that guy I was watching. From Chechnya, I watched fights with them.”

Over the years, both Diaz brothers have earned the reputation for being one of the hardest fighters in the sport- going toe to toe until the last second, no matter winning or losing. “Borz”, is well aware of that, but the Chechnya-born Swede is also planning no easy night out for Diaz.

“The guy is just a fighter. He’s still dangerous. He fights until the last second. I’m happy he’s fighting with me. He’s one of the legends. He’s one of the ones everyone is speaking (about) like, ‘Gangster, gangster.’ I’m going to show who’s the gangster. Like I told before, we’re from Chechnya. … We eat the gangsters for breakfast,” Chimaev went on, “… I just go in and smash his face. If we will be striking, I’ll knock him out. If we’re going down, I’ll submit him. I’ll smash his face from top. We’ll see. Whatever. For me, it doesn’t matter. I don’t know how some people answer on that sh*t.” [H/T MMA Junkie]

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