UFC color commentator and analyst Joe Rogan wants to see two highly demanded matchups in the welterweight division.
The longtime dominant champion Kamaru Usman got dethroned by the reigning UFC welterweight title holder Leon Edwards with a brutal kick to the head in the final minute of their main event outing at UFC 278. It marked one of the most shocking upsets in history and left the 170-pound fighters in the mix of title contention puzzled about their future.
There are two potential matchups that have drawn a lot of interest from the community members, and both include the fast-rising prospect Khamzat Chimaev.
Rogan, while hosting Usman in a recent episode of his popular podcast show “Joe Rogan Experience,” expressed his desire to see the promotion pit Chimaev against former title challenger Jorge Masvidal and former interim welterweight titleholder Colby Covington.
“Now that fight I can get behind, more than maybe even the Nate fight,” Rogan said. “Masvidal versus Khamzat, I like that fight a lot. That’s interesting.
“Khamzat vs Covington is very interesting,” he added. “Yeah, (that’s the ultimate test), that’s your gatekeeper… Most people have said, before the Leon fight, that if it wasn’t for you, he would be the champion of the world. He’s that good. He’s got so much endurance man, it’s wild. He pushes a f**king crazy pace. The Woodley fight was one of the best examples. He could do it more.”
Chimaev Will Face Nate Diaz at UFC 279
Coming off a hard-earned victory over Gilbert Burns in April at UFC 273, Chimaev is scheduled to take on Nate Diaz in the headlining bout of UFC 279 on Sep. 10 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Chimaev goes into the fight undefeated as a professional.
Before Usman’s defeat to Edwards, company president Dana White had stated that Chimaev’s upcoming outing with Diaz would be a top contender contest.
“I mean, obviously, if Nate beat Khamzat Chimaev, the No. 3 guy in the world, you’d have to look at Nate, too,” White said via The Underground. “Everybody’s talking … like that it’s impossible for Nate Diaz to win this fight. Nothing is impossible in fighting. Everything is possible.
Nate Diaz Received Support From Michael Bisping: ‘You Can’t Count Him Out’
Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping believes it will be a hard night at the office for Chimaev. In a Sep. 1 video uploaded to his YouTube account, the fighter turned analyst argued against people counting Diaz out of the bout.
Bisping extended his support for the grizzled veteran and backed him to present a tough challenge for “Borz.”
“You can’t count out Nate Diaz, let’s be honest,” Bisping said (ht MMA Fighting). “More than likely, Chimaev is going to be a gigantic favorite in this fight and I understand that but Nate Diaz has been in there with some of the best.
“The reality is, he’s lost a lot of fights. The 13 losses, it doesn’t sound good. That is almost like kind of getting to journeyman status which sounds offensive but I’m not [trying to be], the man’s been in there with the best of the best. When you look at the people that he lost to, they’re all champions. They’re all top of the food chain. If you’re gonna beat Nate Diaz, you have to be special. You can’t be some average guy, some average Joe, some guy that’s okay that’s had some success. You ain’t gonna beat Diaz like that.”