Khamzat Chimaev ‘Mega-Fight’ Denied: ‘Hasn’t Earned the Right’

Khamzat Chimaev

Getty Khamzat Chimaev of Chechnya celebrates after his knockout victory over Gerald Meerschaert in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Russian-born UFC star Khamzat Chimaev will not be Nick Diaz’s return opponent, according to Diaz’s manager.

Chimaev, who is planning to return to the Octagon in August, recently challenged Diaz to a fight. “@nickdiaz209 surprise surprise i’m coming for you #209,” Chimaev wrote on Instagram on April 26.

UFC president Dana White revealed during the UFC 261 post-fight press conference last weekend that Diaz wants to fight again. Fans haven’t seen Diaz in the Octagon since 2015.

However, it appears it won’t be against Chimaev.

Diaz’s manager Kevin Mubenga recently spoke with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, shooting down the prospect of Chimaev vs. Diaz as he hasn’t “earned the right” to fight Diaz. He said the team is focusing on Diaz’s brother Nate’s fight first, which takes place on May 15 in the co-main event of UFC 262, before they “narrow down” Nick’s possible opponents.

Helwani shared what Mubenga said via social media:

“He’s a good prospect, respectfully, but he hasn’t earned the right to a mega-fight vs. Nick Diaz,” Diaz’s manager said. “So let’s put those rumors to rest. Nate’s up first, our focus is on that. We’ll will narrow down more deserving opponents after the fight.”

Chimaev is 9-0 as a professional mixed martial artist who is 3-0 in the UFC. Diaz has been one of the most well-known names in MMA for years, boasting a pro record of 26-9 and two no contests. He is the former Strikeforce welterweight champion who has also challenged for both the undisputed and interim UFC welterweight titles.

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