Two of the most recognizable fighters in the UFC in recent months and years – Khamzat Chimaev and the legend Nate Diaz – put on a show at the UFC 279 gala night in Nevada, Las Vegas.
It didn’t happen as the world of combat sports expected it – with a direct clash between one of the “bad boys” and an eternal brawler in the division, and the pushy Chechen, after Chimaev was inexplicably more than 4 kilograms over the legal weight for a fight with this opponent .
So on Saturday, the super match failed, but the organizers quickly found a solution and rescheduled the gala.
Diaz met another legendary fighter – Tony Ferguson, and Chimaev faced Kevin Holland.
The first to enter the cage was Hamzat, who ran amok for exactly 133 seconds (2.13 minutes) to suffocate his opponent and win the fight.
A pumped-up Chimaev shouted from the Octagon, “This is Chechnya, do you like it, you bastards,” threatening the bristling Diaz staffers watching from the sidelines.
They were furious at the botched fight, which was planned as the 37-year-old Nate’s big retirement from MMA.
He went up against Ferguson after the Chechen and also won. He launched a “guillotine” in the fourth round and that was enough to win a very spectacular fight. Both declared each other legends in interviews after the end, showing mutual respect.
However, the attitude towards Chimaev was not the same, when Nate called him “a complete amateur, a rookie and a nobody for the sport”.
It is also clear that Diaz will not continue in the UFC after his contract expires at the end of November.
“I’m going to another profession where I’ll be the best again,” he said after the victory. “I’m the longest reigning champion, the biggest UFC star, the most durable, I’ve faced anyone… I can make it outside of combat sports, and I’ll prove it.”
He retires with a 22-13 win-loss record in MMA.
Chimaev has gone 12-for-12, going 6-for-6 in the UFC division alone.