Ahead of his headlining bout with Nate Diaz at UFC 279, top-ranked welterweight Chimaev almost got into another fight at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The rising “Borz” came across former middleweight title challenger Costa in the gym. Costa, who was training on grappling with Diaz’s teammate Jake Shields, got interrupted by Chimaev as he confronted him in a brief curse-laden scuffle.
While there was no violence involved, the unexpected situation could have turned into something much worse. At the post-fight press conference for past Tuesday’s “Dana White’s Contender Series,” White shared his thoughts on the incident. When asked if he had had any conversations with either of the men involved, he responded to the contrary.
“No, guys, you know I don’t do this,” White said. “We’re in the fight business. This stuff happens and it’s up to us to make sure that they don’t fight at the PI. That’s our job. Fighters will be fighters. Those things are going to happen. We’ll deal with it.”
White Assumed There Must Have Been Similar Close Calls at the PI
With a plethora of elite combat sports athletes using the same gym, a fight could potentially break out between those who may have rivalries. White assumed there must have been an incident in a similar vein as that of Chimaev and Costa, reasoning it was the nature of the game.
“With fighters, yeah I am sure we have,” White said. “Guys cross each other’s paths and these things happen sometimes. That’s the business we are in. I know that at the PI, they are super sensitive to who is training where and who is doing what. But when you have a gym full of fighters that aren’t from necessarily the same camps, I am sure they even have that problem in the same camps. It happens. That’s the business we are in.”
White Commented on Diaz’s Final Bout on the Contract
Diaz goes into what could be his final outing under the UFC banner. He wanted to explore free agency and had been calling for a release for the last year. White reflected on Diaz’s contributions to the company and heaped praises on the Stockton native.
“Nate and I talked and I said, ‘Listen, this kid came in on ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’” White continued. “He’s fought incredible wars for us. He’s been a big part of this company for a very long time. What more could I ask of Nate Diaz? If Nate is ready to make this his last fight, I wish him all the best in the world. It’s been fun. It’s really been fun dealing with those two.
“At the times, at certain times, it was whatever, but looking back, the Diaz Brothers have been an absolute blast. They’re legends in this sport. They’re legends in this company. These days come with all the guys. If that’s what Nate wants, then, yeah, we wish him the best.”