Mixed Martial Arts-Nate Diaz to face Chimaev after demanding UFC exit

By Philip O’Connor

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Fan favourite Nate Diaz, who handed Conor McGregor his first defeat in the UFC in 2016, is set to face unbeaten prospect Khamzat Chimaev at welterweight in the final fight of his UFC contract after demanding to be released a week ago.

UFC executive Hunter Campbell confirmed to ESPN that the fight will take place at UFC 279 on Sept. 10 in Las Vegas, with Diaz set to become a free agent after the five-round bout. 

The 37-year-old from Stockton, California used an interview on The MMA Hour last week to demand that the UFC find an opponent for him for the final fight on his deal so that he could leave the company, hinting that he had his eye on a future boxing match with YouTuber Jake Paul. 

The UFC has now granted that wish but Diaz, an accomplished boxer and jiu jitsu black belt with a professional record of 20 wins and 13 losses, faces the prospect of trying to counter the smothering grappling of Sweden’s Chimaev, who is undefeated in 11 pro bouts and one of the most feared fighters in the promotion. 

Diaz’s two fights against Irish superstar McGregor rank second and fourth in the list of top UFC pay-per-view cards of all time.

(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Toby Davis)