icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

‘I don’t want him to get smashed’: Fans fear for UFC veteran Diaz after Chimaev targets ‘gangster’, offers Masvidal bout in August

‘I don’t want him to get smashed’: Fans fear for UFC veteran Diaz after Chimaev targets ‘gangster’, offers Masvidal bout in August
Fans have reacted with dismay after discovering that Nick Diaz, who is returning to the UFC after an absence of more than six years, could face Khamzat Chimaev – a fighter considered one of the most dangerous in the sport.

Former title contender Diaz is expected to make his long-awaited comeback this year, looking athletically fight-ready in his regular training updates to his vast following on social media.

Anyone expecting the 37-year-old to ease himself back into the sport would have been in for a surprise when Chimaev, who demolished three opponents in under two months in a menacing start to his UFC career last year, tweeted a mocked-up version of a promotional poster for a fight again Diaz, adding an emoji that appeared to suggest he is tipping himself to smoke the veteran.

Chimaev also goaded feared welterweight Jorge 'Gamebred' Masvidal over his concussive defeat against Kamaru Usman at UFC 261 on Saturday, writing: "Tell Gamebred when he wakes up from Saturday night I will fight him in August. I’m not sure if he's still sleeping."

Many seemed as excited for Chimaev's comeback as they were concerned for Diaz. "If Dana [White, UFC president] makes this fight, it's him telling us that he wants Nick to die," warned one, while another said: "This makes me sad – I don't want Diaz to get smashed on his return."

Confirming that he wants to fight the man he watched when he was young, Chimaev said he had been "scared" that he would be unable to help his family during the prolonged battle with Covid-19 that has halted his UFC career but is now ready to "smash somebody and make money."

“He’s a legend,” Chimaev told MMA Junkie about Diaz, naming Usman as the best in the division while claiming that the reigning champion will be chasing him next year.

"Everybody knows [Diaz] in the MMA world. He’s good. These good guys, they’re like play gangsters. It’s going to be a good fight if he wants to fight against me.

"I don’t know. Maybe he’s scared.  This is bullsh*t for me... I’ve seen many things in my life.

"We’re going to see who is the real gangster. Chechen gangster is better than Stockton [California] gangster.”

Currently in Chechnya, Chimaev is reportedly planning to train there for three weeks after Ramadan ends on May 12 and then relocate to Sweden – where he is usually based – or the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas.

The 27-year-old's critics would evidently be happier to see him meet Masvidal, again accusing him of dodging ranked fighters as he plots his fourth fight with the promotion.

"Nick Diaz is 37 years old, bro," wrote one, telling Chimaev to challenge sixth-ranked Vicente Luque or Michael Chiesa, who is placed directly behind Chiesa. "He is far from the rankings."

Also on rt.com UFC superstar Khamzat Chimaev ‘crashes luxury Mercedes gifted to him by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’ (VIDEO)