Coming off a thrilling outing with form Gilbert Burns in April, Chimaev will look to extend his winning run when he marks his return to competition against Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC 279 on Sep. 10 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Gamebred” is open to the idea of facing Chimaev, but believes he needs to do more work to prove his worth. In an interview ahead of his promotion’s iKON FC 4 event on Friday, Masvidal talked about the rise of Chimaev and his razor-thin victory over Burns.
“That was supposed to be his coming out party and it didn’t go according to plan,” Masvidal said (ht MMA Fighting). “A lot of people felt Gilbert won that fight — a lot of people still think Gilbert won that fight.
“I don’t really think Khamzat is as good as they say he is. I’m more of a see then believe [guy] and I haven’t seen anything that makes me a believer in this guy yet. I, personally, would love to break his face. Once he starts selling pay-per-views and s*** like that, I wouldn’t mind breaking his f****** face.”
Masvidal Would Not Be Surprised if Diaz Finished Chimaev
Diaz had been in a year-long dispute with the UFC, alleging that the company had shelved him and was keeping him “hostage.” Being on the last bout of his current deal, Diaz is trying to fight out his contract without re-signing.
When they announced the news of Diaz taking on Chimaev in his final outing, there was widespread controversy about the seemingly unbalanced pairing. UK MMA legend Dan Hardy labeled it an “assassination attempt” on Diaz by the UFC, and fans online agree that it’s not a good way to send off a legend.
Masvidal, who took to the octagon against Diaz in Nov. 2019 for the “BMF” title, backed his former foe to finish Chimaev although it seems unlikely.
“They probably wanted to pair Diaz with someone, stylistically, that’s not the best when I think of f****** Khamzat,” Masvidal said. “So they gave him a boring ass wrestler who is going to try and hug his legs, and sniff his crotch.
“I think Khamzat probably wins, but I can see Nate putting him away in rounds four or five because Khamzat doesn’t have that gas tank. He doesn’t have that experience, and I think he gets too in the moment where he’s wasting energy doing stupid s***. Nate is going to conserve all of that energy and get in his face when it counts. I think Khamzat should win, but I won’t be surprised if Nate stops his ass.”
Chimaev Fires Back at Masvidal
After coming across Masvidal’s recent comments, Chimaev fired back at the 37-year-old Florida native. He posted two photos of Masvidal after getting knocked out by the reigning UFC welterweight king Kamaru Usman in their second encounter at UFC 261 in April last year. It was the first and only time Masvidal was knocked completely out cold.
On Aug. 5, Chimaev tweeted: “Wake up buddy @GamebredFighter.”
Chimaev is the third-ranked contender at 170 lbs, and a win over Diaz could likely set him up for a title shot next.