Although oddsmakers have Chimaev (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) as a big favorite, his head coach, Andreas Michael, doesn’t agree with the general consensus that Diaz is being thrown to the wolves. The pair headlines UFC 279 on Sept. 10 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“It’s bullsh*t,” Michael told Submission Radio. “Pure bullsh*t. Like, Nate Diaz has fought (everyone), and given Leon Edwards a run for his money. Like, alright, Leon Edwards was winning every round, but he gave Leon Edwards a tough fight. He’s at no means an easy opponent for us. And Nate Diaz is probably gonna make money.”
The Allstars Training Center head coach says Diaz (20-13 MMA, 18-12 UFC) also has incentive fighting Chimaev. Although Diaz isn’t in the title picture, Michael expects a win for Chimaev to result in the winner of welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards, who headline UFC 278 on Aug. 20.
Then, he wants to see his star student go after a second belt.
“At no means is it not beneficial for Nate, because for him to accept this fight, you can understand that he got paid or he is getting paid.” Michael said. “He’s not just going to accept this fight out of nowhere, you know? So it’s beneficial for him as well as it is for us – and it is a good fight. I think it’s a good fight. It’s a good name – a veteran of the game. He’s fought everyone and anyone, and it is a good experience and they were not taking him lightly. I don’t care what anyone says, this is as if we’re fighting for the title.
“I think that we would like to, me personally – I cannot talk about what Khamzat would like – but I would like to fight the winner of Leon or Usman. That would be a very tough fight for both guys. (Fight) the winner of that one, and then move up directly. And if (Israel) Adesanya’s still the champion (at middleweight) after he fights (Alex) Pereira, which is a monster that guy, then we would fight the champ there – whoever is the champ there. I believe, in a perfect world for us, that’s how it would look. But you know, fighting is unpredictable.”