Nate Diaz Returns to meet Anthony Pettis
By Jordan Victor
UFC 241 will bear witness to a potential fight of the night contender as former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis has been booked to meet the returning Nate Diaz.
The career of Pettis in recent years has often been quite stagnant, with a constant alternation between wins and losses for the once pound for pound king.
However, in March 2019 that all changed when Pettis moved up to welterweight and became the first man to finish Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. Accomplishing a feat that even the likes of Tyron Woodley, Darren Till and Jorge Masvidal could not manage.
This win has seen Pettis suddenly become a contender in the the welterweight division, and on August 17th we can expect Pettis to look to capitalise on his recent win with a sensational performance against Diaz.
You probably read that name twice when Dana White announced the welterweight contest on twitter and who can blame you. The “Stockton Gangster” has not been seen in the UFC cage since his rematch with Conor McGregor at UFC 202.
After the rumoured trilogy with McGregor seemed less likely, the return of Diaz seemed further and further away. This combined with a scheduled fight with Dustin Poirier falling out will bring the Diaz period of inactivity up to nearly 3 years.
However, with a good performance against Pettis the opportunities would be endless for the Stockton export. With Diaz having notable feuds with Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, and a big fight likely in the pipeline should he emerge with the win.
But this matchup will not be easy for either fighter. Both men are some of the toughest fighters to ever step foot in the Octagon, both fighters only being finished 5 times between them in a combined 60 fights.
Pettis and Diaz are both known for their insane stand-up skills and we can expect this to be an all-out toe to toe war.
With Diaz, we will see his slick boxing skills on display (that brought victories over the likes of Donald Cerrone and Michael Johnson) and Pettis bringing the whole arsenal of techniques that has made his skillset so unique (one will never forget the showtime kick of the cage that dropped Benson Henderson all those years ago).
But both also have a wealth of experience on the ground. After all it was a sensational submission win over Henderson that crowned Pettis the UFC lightweight champion back in 2013.
Diaz too can credit his submission offense for the biggest win of his fighting career, having become the first man to beat McGregor in the UFC.
Whatever happens this looks a can’t fail, must see match-up at UFC 241.