Nate Diaz has not fought since August of 2016. In the time since then, he’s only been scheduled for two fights: one, a lightweight fight against Dustin Poirier, which fell through, and the other, a welterweight fight with Anthony Pettis, which is scheduled for UFC 241 in August.
While these are the only fights Diaz has accepted in that time, UFC President Dana White has previously claimed that he’s offered the younger Diaz brother plenty of other matchups in that stretch. If that’s accurate, we can safely say that Diaz has a very high standard for the fights he accepts.
So what was it about this Antony Pettis matchup that worked for Nate Diaz? He explained why he accepted the matchup on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday.
Apparently, it’s a combination of Pettis’ standing in the division, and his status as one of the most exciting fighters in the game.
“I think it is the best fight,” Diaz said (transcript via MMA News). “He is coming off of a good win and he’s one of the top guys, one of the better guys in the division. Most entertaining fighter in the UFC, I like that.”
“It’s a guy I actually enjoy watching over the rest of these fighters,” Diaz added. “Everyone is getting boring, the fight game. If I’m going to take part in any fights, I want a fight that is interesting to not only me but to the fight fan. If I’m a fight fan I want to see an interesting fight, not a boring fight.”
Despite these rather complimentary comments from Nate Diaz, he and Pettis are not particularly big fans of each other on a personal level. The pair share a heated rivalry and seem excited for the chance to get their hands on each other.
“It’s personal,” Pettis said on a recent episode of Helwani’s show. “I can’t wait to put my hands on him. I can’t wait to hurt this guy.”
Who do you think will come out on top when Nate Diaz and Anthony Pettis fight at UFC 241?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/4/2019.