5 reasons Nate Diaz could upset Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279

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The latest news to take the UFC world by storm is the shocking announcement of Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz. Reactions to the news varied. On the one hand, Chimaev could potentially be the next big thing in the UFC — on the other hand, Diaz is a walking legend who changed the way fans view the sport.

Since Khamzat Chimaev was signed by the UFC, he’s worked his way up to No. 3 in the welterweight rankings. However, there are some MMA fans and fighters who believe the Stockton mobster could be victorious, despite what bettors have to say.

Let’s look at five reasons why Nate Diaz could cause a big upset against Khamzat Chimaev:

#5. The experience factor

The world of MMA is a place where even the best fighters enjoy relatively short lifespans. Fame often gives way to the physical toll the sport takes on fighters, and the UFC is no exception. However, few have stood the test of time and gone through the years to develop a huge amount of experience.

Nate Diaz is a fighter who has accumulated a wealth of experience in the octagon during his 15 years in the UFC. In mixed martial arts, experience can be just as much a skill as any other – an experienced fighter knows how to stay calm when the going gets tough.

UFC fighters like Randy Couture are a great example of how wisdom in the octagon can be a reason for success. In Diaz’s case, he has always been a fighter who is rarely impressed, even in the most difficult situations. It’s that attitude that allows fighters to make the best decisions under pressure, which could play a big role in helping Diaz earn a win.

#4. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Nate Diaz

Although he is known for his skillful stand-up play, Nate Diaz is also highly regarded as a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner. This is probably why fans rarely come across cases of fighters taking down Diaz. On the other hand, Khamzat Chimaev is a fighter who mainly trained as a wrestler and won gold at the Swedish national championships three times.

Chimaev’s wrestling normally helps him a lot – that is until he meets a fighter with a solid ground game. During his fight with Gilbert Burns, Chimaev more or less gave up his fight and stuck to punching after trying to defeat Burns without success.

This is where Nate Diaz can have the upper hand, as he can capitalize on Chimaev’s wrestling approach as a trap to use his Brazilian jiu-jitsu. If Chimaev decides to defeat Nate Diaz, he will be locked in a ground match with a fighter who holds 11 submission wins, one of which was former two-time champion Conor McGregor.

#3. The endurance of a triathlete

If one were to look through Khamzat Chimaev’s MMA record, one would probably notice the fact that 90% of his fights ended in the first round. The few others finished in the second round, the only exception being his fight against Gilbert Burns, which ended in a decisive victory for Chimaev.

In the case of Nate Diaz, the majority of his fights have gone well beyond the first round. The Stockton product is a rare example of a fighter who uses his endless reserves of stamina to wear down his opponents. Diaz competes extensively in triathlons, which likely helps build his seemingly endless stamina.

If Chimaev can’t end their fight soon, he’s locked in a long and vicious five-round battle. Even though ‘Borz’ went the distance in his fight against Gilbert Burns at UFC 273, it was clear he was extremely exhausted. If the fight goes into the fourth and fifth rounds, Chimaev will know that Diaz poses a significant threat.

#2. Intense stand-up play

Regardless of a fighter’s background, the ability to induce blunt force trauma with powerful stand-up play is an essential skill. A fighter may be exceptional in grappling, grappling, etc., but if he cannot land effective strikes in the standing game, he is bound to lose at some point.

One of the best examples of this is a UFC fighter like Francis Ngannou, who despite lacking great grappling skills, found success with his outrageous stand-up skills.

Khamzat Chimaev is a fabulous wrestler and a brilliant knockout performer who can also land some great submissions, but his stand-up skills have gone largely untested, minus his fight with Gilbert Burns. In all honesty, he did a good job and won this fight in large part because of his performance on the feet.

However, Nate Diaz has spent over 15 years demonstrating the strength of his stand-up game. UFC stats show Diaz landing 67% of the big strikes from the standing position, a significant increase from Khamzat’s 41%. When it comes to standing and punching, Diaz poses a serious threat to Khamzat.

#1. The original UFC mobster

There’s a reason the Diaz Brothers have managed to cultivate a cult following for themselves among UFC fans – they’re one of the few fighters who can back up their words and deliver truly memorable fights.

Nate Diaz doesn’t care who his opponent is. He treats them all equally and is ready to step into the cage against anyone, regardless of weight class or record. The Stockton-born contender does a great job playing mind games with his opponents, who know they are stepping in with a fighter who has fought the greatest in the division.

He is quite possibly one of the greatest underdog fighters the UFC has ever seen, given his win over Conor McGregor in the Irishman’s prime. Fans and fighters alike just can’t ignore Nate Diaz because despite the odds, he knows how to prove everyone wrong.


Edited by kennedyking2016

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