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Nate Diaz says he turned down ‘rookie’ Khamzat Chimaev: ‘Don’t even talk my name’

UFC 263: Adesanya v Vettori 2
Nate Diaz

Nate Diaz has a single fight remaining on his current UFC contract, but he said it won’t be against surging welterweight star Khamzat Chimaev.

Diaz told TMZ he refused outright an offer to face Chimaev, believing the unbeaten Chechen fighter unworthy of facing him in the octagon at this point in their respective careers.

“They’re coming at me with [Chimaev], and I’m like, ‘Hold on, don’t disrespect me like that, trying to offer me a fight with a rookie,’” Diaz said. “I’m cool, you got four fights in the UFC. Don’t even talk my name.”

Diaz said he’s been trying to get a top 10 opponent to fight him, but no one has agreed. Chimaev currently is ranked at No. 11 at 170 pounds in the UFC and the MMA Fighting Global Rankings.

“Fight the newer guys in the UFC,” Diaz instructed. “There’s levels to this, and I don’t even want to hear his name.”

Chimaev, 27, has been trying to level up and reportedly struggled to find willing opposition. As a result, he’s called out just about everyone with a name, going so far as to offer Brock Lesnar a go in the octagon. Since a first-round mauling of Li Jingliang at UFC 267, he has remained unbooked.

Diaz, one of the UFC’s more bankable stars, suggested Chimaev take on a fighter with less name recognition – his teammate Nick Maximov.

“Hey Khamzat, if you in there, don’t be a b*tch, my boy’s right here, fight him,” Diaz said. “Anybody in the higher level even playing along to this Khamzat sh*t, you’re a b*tch, too, taking that sh*t. You’re a new rookie – deal with new people.”

Diaz rescued from the jaws of defeat a moral victory in a last-second comeback flurry against Leon Edwards at UFC 263 in June. Many pundits suggested a trilogy with Conor McGregor as the next logical step, but McGregor was pushed to the sidelines with a broken leg suffered in a trilogy bout against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264.

Diaz isn’t particular about the name of his next opponent – only the ranking.

“Top 5, I’m fighting a top 5 guy ASAP,” Diaz said. “Let’s do January in Anaheim [at UFC 270].”