“Scared. That f****** fool is scared,” Diaz said Friday night on the ESPN weigh-in show.
“At least I don’t have to deal with this, so that’s 1-0 on [Chimaev]. So if I can get through this dude tomorrow, then that’s 2-0 for the weekend. So this is 2-for-1.”
The second name Diaz is referring to is Tony Ferguson, the longtime UFC contender who stepped into UFC 279’s main event on short notice Friday after Chimaev’s stunning miss at official weigh-ins. Chimaev tipped the scales at 178.5 pounds, 7.5 pounds over the limit for a non-title welterweight contest, forcing a flurry of last-second changes to the card.
In the end, Diaz is set to face Ferguson in a five-round welterweight fight for UFC 279’s main event, while Chimaev is slated to face Kevin Holland in a five-round catchweight contest in Saturday’s co-main event. Li Jingliang vs. Daniel Rodriguez is also on the main card.
“It’s all a mess. It’s f****** irritating,” Diaz said. “I trained for Khamzat. I don’t even know how to fight this guy. I’m going to watch some video, but s***, it don’t matter anyway because I train for everybody always anyway. I don’t train for fights anymore, I just train to fight everybody always, ready for war. It for sure makes me happy though that I’m not supporting the bulls*** that they’ve [the UFC] been trying to push on me the whole time.
“And this guy is a little-leaguer, bro. Straight up, a little-leaguer playing in the major leagues. And he felt I didn’t belong? I’ll never fight him in here, but I’ll fight him right now if I could f****** find his b**** ass here anyway.”
To further complicate matters, Diaz’s short-notice change of opponents comes after a wild backstage melee between him, Chimaev, Holland, and their respective teams forced the cancellation of Thursday’s pre-fight press conference.
It’s been a week of chaos for Diaz, but also one that comes to somewhat of a happy resolution for a 15-year UFC veteran who is fighting on the final bout of his contract.
“I don’t like that no more, getting into fights with people that I don’t appreciate, that don’t deserve, who haven’t put in the time. So at least I’m dealing with somebody right now who’s been through it,” Diaz said. “And if it is my last fight here, which I don’t really plan on it being, at least it’s with a veteran and somebody who’s respectable.
“So whatever happens, happens. But I’m glad I just beat that little b****.”