While many were excited with the news that Khamzat Chimaev would face Nate Diaz, Dan Hardy was not one of them.
It was recently confirmed that Chimaev and Diaz would clash in a welterweight headliner set to take place at UFC 279 September 10 in Las Vegas.
It is notably the last fight on Diaz’s contract and prior to the announcement, the Stockton native was very outspoken on getting a fight and even went as far as asking for his release.
In the end, Diaz got his fight, and it’s against one of the hottest rising stars in the sport in Chimaev, who many feel is a certainty to not only win, but do it in brutal fashion.
And for Hardy, it’s akin to watching a live execution on television.
“It feels like we’re getting to the point where someone should start thinking about pressing charges,” Hardy said on The MMA Hour. “It doesn’t feel like a fair fight. It feels like a very, very cruel thing to do to someone that is a legitimate legend. Because they’ve spoken out against the organization, they’re going to get executed live on TV.
“That’s kind of how it feels, and it makes me feel uncomfortable to think that’s the way it’s going to go down.”
Dan Hardy: I Hope Nate Diaz Comes Through It Alright
Of course, this is the fight game, and anything can happen.
With that said, Diaz — who turned 37 a few months ago — is seemingly on his way out of the fight game and seems highly unlikely to cause Chimaev any problems.
In the end, all Hardy can hope for is that Diaz comes through the fight unscathed.
“I hope, desperately hope, that Nate at least comes through it alright, but after watching what Khamzat did to Rhys McKee and to John Phillips — yes, of course, Nate’s got good jiu-jitsu, but there comes a point where jiu-jitsu is nullified by good wrestling,” Hardy explained. “It happened in the early days of the UFC, and it would happen against Nate if it hits the floor. I think he gets nullified and I think he gets beaten up horrendously from the top position. I think it’s going to be uncomfortable to watch, and I think it’s going to leave the UFC in a very, very bad light.
“I just hope Nate comes through it alright, because I think he’s got good opportunities outside the UFC. It’s just a shame that they’re going to do this assassination attempt on him before he leaves.”
That’s not to say Hardy is not a fan of Chimaev.
However, he feels the UFC needs to stop feeding its legends to all the hungry up and comers. Because at this point, they can physically and legally damage any fighter that they please.
“I love Khamzat Chimaev – I just think they’re in different positions right now,” Hardy added. “He’s on the rise, and Diaz is a legend that is on his way out. It’s just a fight that shouldn’t be happening. But of course, if Nate pulls it off it would be the most Diaz thing to do in the world, and he’ll walk off into the sunset with a smile on his face.
“I think I said what I needed to about it. I just feel very unfortunate that it’s happening, and that we can’t celebrate these fighters when they’re coming to the end of their career. But it’s the UFC’s style, isn’t it? If they decide they’re parting ways with you, they try to damage you in every way possible. Unfortunately, if you’re a fighter and they want to damage you, they can actually physically do it, which is a shame.”
Do you agree with Dan Hardy?