During a recent episode of Beyond the Fight on his YouTube channel, ‘The Bad Guy’ weighed in on the highly anticipated welterweight matchup next weekend.
Sonnen acknowledged the Chechen-born fighter’s immense potential and the threats he poses to the UFC veteran. However, he stated that Chimaev could find himself in trouble if he and his team dismiss the Stockton native as an easy fight:
“You got a pretty good circle around you, it’s your team, it’s your coaches, your workout partners – if they are dismissing, if they at all have the attitude that the spread had when they opened it 8 to 1 and moved to 12 to 1, if they do any of this [brushes off shoulder], he [Chimaev] is going to quickly find himself in a contest that’s harder than he thought it was going to be.”
During the episode, Sonnen also addressed concerns surrounding Chimaev’s ability to go five rounds with Diaz after visibly exhausting himself in a three-round battle against Gilbert Burns in April.
According to Sonnen, that wouldn’t be a fair assessment to make considering that ‘Borz’ knew he wasn’t supposed to go beyond three rounds in that fight. This is to suggest that the Chechen-born Swede could have better utilized his energy if the fight was scheduled for five rounds.
That said, Sonnen noted that Chimaev’s ability to go the full 25 minutes is still questionable and pointed out that five-round bouts are what Diaz thrives in.
Khamzat Chimaev is a colossal -5000 favorite to beat Nate Diaz on Sportsbet
Khamzat Chimaev is a huge favorite going into his five-round battle against Nate Diaz at UFC 279. The undefeated sensation is currently listed as a gigantic -1375 favorite against Diaz, who comes in at +900 on DraftKings.
If that isn’t surprising enough, popular sportsbook Sportsbet has listed Khamzat Chimaev as a barely believable -5000 favorite against Diaz, who is a +591 underdog. While the numbers may sound absurd, it’s not hard to see why the odds are heavily stacked against the Stockton fighter.
Diaz’s MMA career has been on a downward trajectory. The 37-year-old will be looking for his first win since beating Anthony Pettis over three years ago at UFC 241. The UFC veteran suffered a TKO loss to Jorge Masvidal in November 2019 followed by a decision defeat to Leon Edwards in June 2021.
Meanwhile, Khamzat Chimaev (11-0) has looked nearly unstoppable since joining the UFC ranks in mid-2020. The 28-year-old will look to earn a welterweight title shot by scoring a sixth straight win under the promotional banner. In his most recent outing, ‘Borz’ edged out a hard-fought decision win over Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 in April.
Watch Chael Sonnen discuss Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz below (starting at the 8:00 mark):