On The MMA Hour, Khamzat Chiamaev revealed that he would move to 185 lbs after his scheduled bout vs. Nate Diaz at UFC 279 if the winner of the upcoming Welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards wishes to sit out for an extended period.
Chimaev joined the UFC in 2020 and got in an instant roll through the 170 and 185 lbs divisions. Scoring 3 wins in 2 months, Chimaev seemed unstoppable and on a fast track to a UFC title shot. These ideas were put on hold though as Chimaev contracted a severe case of COVID-19, and at one point briefly retired.
The illness wasn't enough to keep him away from the sport for long though as he made a full recovery and returned to action the next year at UFC 267 where he quickly dispatched number 11 in the world, Li Jingliang, with a 1st round rear-naked choke. He then picked up a unanimous decision win over 2nd ranked Welterweight contender Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 in a potential Fight of The Year winner.
He now finds himself matched up against one of the biggest stars in the sport, Nate Diaz. They will headline UFC 279 at the T-mobile Arena in LAs Vegas, Nevada. Chimaev is expected to make quick work of his opponent as he opened as a greater than 10 to 1 favorite over the Stockton Native.
A win here could set him up for a title shot against the winner of Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards which takes place at UFC 278 on August 20th at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The last 4 fighters to defeat Nate Diaz have received immediate title shots after, could Khamzat Chimaev join that list?