The Return of Nate Diaz Has Been Met With Anticipation… He Has a Tense Relationship With Upcoming Opponent Anthony Pettis… Now Duke Roufus Has Said That Any Trash Talk From the Stockton Native Will Backfire…
Nate Diaz will make his comeback at UFC 237 against Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis. The fight will take place in the welterweight division which appears to be the new home for both men as they enter the twilight days of their careers. Both are capable of delivering performance and this should be very exciting to watch.
Diaz and Pettis have a personal history. They’ve gone back and forth in the past so there is a real edge to this matchup. Indeed Duke Roufus, Pettis’s head coach, has gone on record to say that he’s going to verbally abuse his fighter the entire way through their training camp.
Now he’s told Ariel Helwani that Diaz is wasting his time if he thinks he can trash talk his fighter. Pettis is just too mentally strong.
Back in the day, Pettis was one of the most exciting fighters on the planet. The ‘Showtime’ kick off the cage versus Benson Henderson is a highlight reel moment that every MMA fan must have seen at least once. And he delivered another ludicrous moment against Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson in the face of adversity. A challenge brings out the best in the former champion.
“Let’s do a little history of Anthony Pettis: Guys who trash talk in Anthony’s face, he’s whipped their asses,” Roufus said. “One of those bad beatings was Donald Cerrone, a lot of pre-fight trash talk. How did that end? Most recently Michael Chiesa, how did that fight end? Anthony fairs very well when people want to test his moxy, and he’s very motivated.”
This is a fight that Pettis never thought he’d get. Now that the deal has been signed he’s not going to waste an opportunity to silence a man he genuinely dislikes. It’s not the most famous rivalry in MMA by any means, but it is a real one. When these two men face off in the cage, it’s as personal as it is professional.
“He’s been motivated for this fight for years, and it’s going to be a barnburner,” Roufus said. “Not an easy fight, but we didn’t get into this fight to hand-pick bums and beat the can of the week. Everyone counted Anthony out when he fought ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, and that’s what’s up. Not only did beat ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, he was the first one to knock him out in 87 fights.”
Will Diaz be able to stand against the much more active Pettis? That’s the big question for the Stockton fighter who hasn’t fought in nearly three years, since that tight decision loss to Conor McGregor.
Unlike Diaz, Pettis is not known for his trash talk. He’s generally a very respectful individual invoking the spirit of martial arts. However, he can shoot back when necessary. Back in 2013, he got involved in a Twitter spat with his upcoming opponent and it backfired on Diaz. ‘Showtime’ wrote:
“2 losses + lisssssp + best offense is your middle finger = can’t talk sh*t!!!”
These two men really don’t like each other.