The former Strikeforce champion and teammate of Nate Diaz said he was part of a run-in with Chimaev on Monnday while he was helping UFC middleweight Paulo Costa work on his grappling. Shields told MMA Junkie Radio that Chimaev interrupted the grappling session between him and Costa at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas, which he wasn’t happy about.
“I was there this morning working out with Paulo Costa, going over some techniques and just drilling, and all of a sudden Khamzat starts yelling at us and cussing Paulo like, ‘Well, you want to fight?'” Shields said. “We look over, and it’s him and like 10 dudes.
“So Paulo jumps up and starts talking sh*t. I run over to back up Paulo because I don’t know if they’re trying to jump him, right? There were a couple of guys, so I wasn’t sure if they were going to jump him. There were a couple of guys that we didn’t recognize.
“So we run over and start talking sh*t and Khamzat keeps going, ‘Let’s fight now, let’s fight now,’ but as he’s saying that he’s walking down the stairs. It seemed like it was kind of more of an act for the cameras than anything. I guess someone said afterward that he was scoping us out for 10 minutes. If he wanted to fight Paulo, he would’ve run in there and started swinging on him, not stood outside the cage and say, ‘Let’s fight right now. Let’s fight right now.’
“It seemed kind of a weak thing. I guess that’s why he was upset because Paulo called him a fake gangster, and that was a perfect example of him being a fake gangster.”
Shields has been a teammate of Diaz for many years and has been in Diaz’s corner for some of the biggest fights of his career. Saturday, Chimaev takes on Diaz in the UFC 279 main event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s fight hub for UFC 279.