But in his toughest fight yet, fans learned that Chimaev can also weather the storm and beat opponents in 15-minute wars. Fighting Gilbert Burns at UFC 273, the two earned Fight of the Night honors for a back and forth battle that saw Chimaev earn a unanimous decision on the scorecards.
Hearing all this, you might think there aren’t many opponents who can push Chimaev to the brink of defeat. But in the main event of UFC 279, Chimaev will stand alongside Nate Diaz, a UFC veteran known for being battle tested and never backing down from a challenge.
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Known for his iconic submission win over Conor McGregor, Diaz has fought numerous title contenders and former champions over the years, including Jorge Masvidal, Rafael Dos Anjos, Anthony Pettis and McGregor twice.
In his last fight, Diaz fought current welterweight champion Leon Edwards before “Rocky” won the 170-pound title at UFC 278 last month. This fight was a perfect example of Diaz’s character as a mixed martial artist, as he overcame an offensive attack and turned the tide in the final rounds. Late in the fifth round, Diaz landed a straight left that sent Edwards back against the cage on wobbly legs. Although Diaz was unable to find that finish and ended up losing on the scorecards, the fight showed he was fully capable of going 25 minutes with the current welterweight champion.
Tony Ferguson’s first welterweight fight since 2011