Amid a contract standoff with the promotion, Diaz said he eventually agreed to fight the welterweight star. But he was none too happy about getting another opponent on the upswing as he tried to fight out his contract.
“The same reason [the UFC] wanted me to fight Khabib when he was brand-ass new,” Diaz said Tuesday on The MMA Hour.
Diaz said the Chimaev matchup didn’t materialize because Chimaev turned down the fight; previously, he said he turned down Chimaev because the Chechen fighter was a “rookie”. Chimaev later accused Diaz of turning down at least 10 offers to fight him.
The way Diaz sees it, he’s constantly being used to build up lesser fighters. Nurmagomedov is on that list despite a run that includes 13 straight UFC wins, a UFC lightweight title with three defenses and an undefeated 29-0 record.
“You ain’t no good. You’re are a scared fighter, scared of fighting the whole time, and now you’re in the Hall of Fame with them? I was here before the Hall of Fame showed up, actually. Now you’re a Hall of Famer? I don’t even want nothing to do with the Hall of Fame - the Hall of Fame’s a joke, too – but...the Ultimate Fighter right here.”
Nurmagomedov was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame earlier this month. The 33-year-old former champ has resisted multiple offers to get him back into the octagon.
Diaz and Nurmagomedov’s history is a rocky one, with the two nearly coming to blows at a WSOF event in 2015 after Diaz slapped the Dagestani fighter. Diaz later said he regretted the incident and added Nurmagomedov was picking on him.
At one point, Diaz said he requested a fight with Nurmagomedov but was turned down. When the possibility came up later, his interested had fizzled and he passed.