In June, Nate Diaz vs. Anthony Pettis was booked and signed for UFC 241 at 170 pounds.
BREAKING: Nate Diaz vs. Anthony Pettis verbally agreed for UFC 241 on Aug. 17. 170 pounds. Story coming to ESPN shortly.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 12, 2019
It’s an absolute fairy tale of a fight that is so unworldly to the point where it feels too good to be true. The fantastic thing is, it’s real and it will go down this Saturday.
Although their journeys are dissimilar, the two gentleman will be able to settle their ongoing feud as they will share a 15 minute dance at UFC 241. Get your popcorn ready.
The Peoples’ Main Event: Nate Diaz vs. Anthony Pettis
Paths To The Octagon
Diaz’s last go around did not go his way, losing to Conor McGregor in a razor close decision at UFC 202. That was on August 20th, 2016 so when the cage locks at UFC 241, that’ll be a 1,092 day gap between fights, which is almost identical to three years. Donald Trump was elected president more recently than Diaz fought last. Anyway, the UFC offered him multiple fights during said null period, like former champion Georges St-Pierre, but declined. A UFC 230 bout was booked against Dustin Poirier, but the bout was pulled due to an injury Poirier sustained. Diaz will now finally make his long anticipated return to the octagon.
Pettis has fought seven times since Diaz’s last fight. He went 4-3 in said bouts, notably winning over Charles Oliveira, Jim Miller, Michael Chiesa and most recently, Stephen Thompson. One of those losses is against Tony Ferguson, which earned him a Fight of the Year award after 10 minutes of nonstop action. The win against Stephen Thompson, though, was yet another highlight reel knockout produced from Pettis.
Rightfully so, this earned him another high profile fight and that comes by way of Nathan Donald Diaz.
What To Expect
I do not know any other way to put it, without sugarcoating it, expect a war. Combined, the two have 41 professional wins, 34 of them by finish. Now, if we were to talk trends for this fight? It’s tough. Pettis has finished 50% of his wins by TKO/KO, but Diaz has been knocked out only once through 30 professional fights. Diaz has finished 58% of his wins by submission, but Pettis has only been submitted once through 30 professional fights. Majority of both Diaz and Pettis’ losses have come by decision. So what to expect? Blood. Lots of it.
Facts and Stats
Anthony Pettis has not won back to back fights since winning and defending the lightweight championship against Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez in 2013 and 2014.
Neither fighter has fought a UFC bout in California.
Anthony Pettis is a slight favorite, unlike his last three fights, but he is far from a sure bet when he’s favored. Throughout his UFC career, he is 6-5 when favored in a fight.
Nate Diaz has been the underdog 10 times in his UFC career, going 6-4 in said bouts.
To compare this fight to something, it’s like when Grandma Suzy brings out your favorite dessert on Thanksgiving. You may not have been expecting it, but once you put it in your mouth, you get that tingling sensation on your tongue that slowly makes its way to your throat. So yes, Anthony Pettis vs. Nate Diaz, Grandma Suzy’s homemade dessert, UFC 241. Let the boys dance. Thanks for reading.
Embed from Getty Images