Less than two days ago, Diaz was scheduled to face Chimaev in the main event, but a botched weight cut from the undefeated Chechen led to the promotion scrambling to find new fights for each of them. Diaz ended up headlining the card against Tony Ferguson, while Chimaev got matched with Kevin Holland in a catchweight bout.
Both ended up scoring submission victories, though Diaz wasn’t impressed by Chimaev’s performance, especially after all the drama he caused by failing to make weight.
“Lame, scared, boring rookie,” Diaz said when grading Chimaev’s win at the UFC 279 post-fight press conference. “Whack, p****, lame, d*** sucker. All those.”
According to Diaz, he was in the latter part of his weight cut on Friday morning when UFC officials reached out to let him know Chimaev wasn’t going to come anywhere close to the welterweight limit at 171 pounds.
As distressing as that news was, Diaz didn’t really want to deal with it until after he did his job by making weight.
“I was in the sauna on my last pound, and I was like what the f***?” Diaz said. “Whatever, let me finish this up and then we’ll talk about it. I was like whatever, let’s just get to weigh-ins, and tell me whatever is happening after I eat and rehydrate.
“But I figured this motherf****** is scared. He got punked, he got scared at the press conference. I knew that was going to happen.”
The pre-fight press conference on Thursday ended after Chimaev got into two separate backstage altercations – one with Holland, and the other with Diaz and his team. Numerous sources told MMA Fighting that at one point water bottles were being thrown, which ultimately led to the entire press conference being scrapped.
As crazy as that was, the press conference cancellation didn’t hold a candle to what unfolded the next day when Chimaev weighed 178.5 pounds, which then forced the UFC to scramble to save the card at the last minute.
Diaz had to then agree to face Ferguson on extremely short notice. But he said that only happened after the UFC came through with enough money to make it worth his while.
“I was like you’ve got to pay me,” Diaz recounted. “If you want me to switch people on me on one f****** day, I just cut 15 pounds, you make me change my opponent, you guys got to give me more than you give any of the champions in this whole organization. They’re like ‘stupid, we already give you [that]’ and I want more than that then! I lost count [how much they gave me].”
Whatever he was paid, Diaz took the fight and ultimately submitted Ferguson with a fourth-round guillotine choke, which was also the final bout on his current UFC contract.
Now, as he prepares to hit free agency and leave the UFC after a 15-year run, Diaz looks forward to pursuing opportunities across combat sports.
While Diaz added that he would like to return to the UFC one day in the future, his exit would seemingly make a future trilogy against longtime rival Conor McGregor that much harder to make.
Of course, McGregor already chimed in with his thoughts on Diaz declaring plans to take over a sport like boxing — something he claims the Irish superstar was unable to accomplish — while adding that the Stockton, Calf. Native would be “nothing without me.”
Diaz didn’t seem to care much or even pay attention to what McGregor had to say, though he promised that whatever unfinished business remains between them would be settled one day. He’s even open to extending the rivalry with a crossover fight in boxing, as well.
“I would like to finish that, the trilogy for sure,” Diaz said. “That would not be a trilogy in boxing, that would be [fight] No. 1. We could do some of those, too, but I’m going to go do what he tried to do and show him how to do it.”