This Comeback Couldn’t Have Gone Much Better for Nate Diaz… He Managed to Eke Out the Decision Over Anthony Pettis After Three Rounds of Action…
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto tweeted before the UFC Anaheim main card started that there were more people wearing Nate Diaz merchandise than every other fighter on the event combined. That just goes to show how popular the Stockton man is and how happy people were to see him back in action again.
And boy, he did not disappoint. Taking on Anthony Pettis in the co-main event of UFC 241, Diaz was making his comeback after three years on the sidelines. He hadn’t fought since losing to Conor McGregor in their rematch back in 2016. Diaz was determined to make up for lost time.
The major doubt that people had about him was whether or not ring rust would affect his performance. it definitely didn’t. While both men appeared to gas at one point, Diaz stayed strong enough to dominate ‘Showtime’ and impressively win.
— UFC (@ufc) August 18, 2019
Pettis has struggled against pressure fighters in the past and Diaz added himself to that list. ‘Showtime’ definitely didn’t want Diaz to grow into this fight and he let loose with some fast head kicks. Then after a takedown attempt, he tried to snare Diaz with a guillotine attempt but failed. Diaz did enough damage throughout the round to take it on two of the judge’s scorecards.
In the second round, Diaz bombed forward walking through strikes to close the distance. His output was ludicrous, landing punch after punch on Pettis. The fight was briefly paused because Diaz had an issue with his eye, but that didn’t stop him unleashing carnage.
— UFC (@ufc) August 18, 2019
The third and final round of the fight had Pettis in all sorts of trouble. Diaz poured on the pressure, landing body shots, knees and hooks. ‘Showtime’ knew he had to get the finish and tried his best but it wasn’t coming. Submission attempts were thwarted and he ate a tonne of strikes as it turned into phonebooth fighting.
In the end, Diaz would win by unanimous decision, 30-27 on two cards and 29-28 on the other. It was a brilliant display by Stockton’s finest.
"Jorge Masvidal had a good last fight."
"I know my man's a gangster but he ain't no West Coast gangster!"
— Watch #UFC241 live on BT Sport 1 HD (@btsportufc) August 18, 2019
Diaz v Gamebred?
Afterwards, in his post-fight interview, Diaz made the best possible call-out he could have made. He challenged Jorge Masvidal and every MMA fan in the world surely wet themselves with excitement. Maybe that was just us. But yes, this would be a fantastic match-up.
“It’s the Nate Diaz army, motherf**kers,” Diaz told Joe Rogan. “It’s good to be back. The reason I was off was because everybody sucked, there were no good fights. Jorge Masvidal had a good last fight, all respect to the man, there ain’t no gangsters in this game but me and him. I know my man’s a gangster but he ain’t no West Coast gangster, you know what I’m saying?”
Diaz and Masvidal have very similar personalities. You mess with them and you’ll feel the real-life consequences. Neither of them has time for haters or people who are fake. If this goes down – and it probably will – then there should be fireworks.