In response to a new promo for the welterweight matchup on Sept. 10 in Las Vegas, Chimaev posted a coffin emoji with the 209 area code, a reference to the Stockton, Calif., territory Diaz calls home.
The UFC 279 matchup marks Diaz’s final obligation to the UFC after an extended layoff in which the one-time lightweight title challenger repeatedly demanded a fight from the promotion. This past month, he appeared on The MMA Hour to accuse the UFC of holding him under contract for a trilogy with his two-time opponent, Conor McGregor, and request his final fight.
Diaz remains a significant underdog against Chimaev, who has blazed to the top of the division with five straight wins including a “Fight of The Year” contender against Gilbert Burns in his previous outing. Diaz is 1-3 in his past four outings, most recently suffering a lopsided loss to current welterweight title challenger Leon Edwards. Despite the setback, Diaz won a moral victory with a last-minute surge that rattled the U.K. standout.
The Instagram account linked with Team Diaz reacted to the UFC 279 promo with a fist emoji.