Masvidal not sold on Chimaev: 'I won't be surprised if Nate stops his ass'
There aren't many Khamzat Chimaev non-believers out there. But Jorge Masvidal is one of them.
The former UFC welterweight title challenger thinks massive underdog Nate Diaz has a decent shot at becoming the first to beat Chimaev when they meet at UFC 279 on Sept. 10.
"I think Khamzat probably wins, but I could see Nate putting him away in Round 4 or 5," Masvidal told MMA Fighting's Mike Heck. "Khamzat doesn't have that gas tank, doesn't have that experience, and I think he gets too in the moment to where he's wasting energy doing stupid shit. Nate's going to conserve all that energy and get in his face when it counts.
"I think probably Khamzat should win, but I won't be surprised if Nate stops his ass."
Chimaev has been the talk of the 170-pound division since his UFC debut in July 2020, and rightfully so. The Russian-born Swede ran through his first four opponents - including ranked welterweight Li Jingliang - before edging top contender Gilbert Burns in a "Fight of the Year" candidate in April.
Ranked No. 3 in the weight class, Chimaev has a chance to secure a title shot by defeating Diaz, one of the biggest stars in the UFC. Diaz has one fight left on his current contract and is expected to part ways with the promotion after UFC 279.
Though Chimaev took home a unanimous decision win over Burns, it was his first close fight in the Octagon. As a result, Masvidal seems to view it more as a loss than a victory.
"That was supposed to be his coming-out party, and it didn't go according to plan," Masvidal said. "A lot of people felt Gilbert won that fight. A lot of people still think Gilbert won that fight.
"I don't really think that Khamzat is as good as they say. I'm more of a see-er to become a believer, and I haven't seen anything that makes me become a believer in this guy yet."