UFC 241: Squared Up: Nate Diaz vs Anthony Pettis

Jason Paglia

Thursday, August 15, 2019 8:56 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019 8:56 PM UTC

Who wins this fight between Nate Diaz and Anthony Pettis? Let’s get after it!
<p>The Ultimate Fighting Championship goes California dreaming this week as they kick down the door of the Honda Center in Anaheim, California for UFC: 241. Although the entire card is stacked, the last three fights on Saturday’s card could be the best of the year. ‘Three Years’ is the phrase that sums up the co-main event of UFC: 241. Three years since Diaz last fought, and three years since Pettis resurrected his career.</p><p> </p><div><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>NATE DIAZ (19-11) vs ANTHONY PETTIS (22-8)</strong></h2><p style="text-align:center"><a href="https://www.oddsmarket.com/fighting/int/ultimate-fighting-championship/nate-diaz-vs-anthony-pettis-3850753/?mtid=126" target="_blank" title="Nate Diaz vs Anthony Pettis Odds Board"><strong>Sunday 18<sup>th</sup>, Aug 2019</strong></a></p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://images2.minutemediacdn.com/image/upload/c_fill,w_688,ar_16:9,f_auto,q_auto,g_auto/shape/cover/sport/UFC-202-Diaz-v-McGregor-2-b458e376fa36fcfdf1dbfd50b6305f0d.jpg" style="width:90%" /></p><h2><strong>Nate Diaz</strong></h2><p>Born and raised in Stockton, California, Nate Diaz began training in various practices of mixed martial arts from the age of 11. Much like his older brother Nick, his passion was Brazilian jiu-jitsu. By the time he was 19 years old he decided to become a pro MMA fighter and signed a deal with World Extreme Cage fighting. He won his first fight at WEC 12 when he submitted Alejandro Garcia via submission. After winning 5 of his first 7 fights WEC was absorbed by then parent company to UFC, Zuffa Inc. Diaz finally caught a big break when the UFC reality show ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ called him to be one of the fighters on Season 5. He would take full advantage of the show winning every fight, including the finals and being named The Ultimate Fighter. He started his UFC career winning 5 straight fights and not suffering his first loss until he fought Clay Guida at UFC: 94. Diaz was a mid level guy for most of his UFC career winning 13 of his first 21 fights, and then it happened.</p><p>At UFC: 196, on two weeks notice, he fought the most popular fighter on the roster in Conor McGregor. McGregor had pretty much run through everyone he fought at the time, and was a huge favorite to beat Diaz that night, but he didn’t. Nate Diaz shocked the world and instantly became a Rockstar. Five months later, McGregor would avenge his loss to Diaz at UFC: 202. Nate Diaz has not fought since that night almost three years ago on August 20th, 2016. How will he respond off a three year layoff? Can he get the job done this Saturday? Below is a look at Nate Diaz, by the numbers.</p><p> </p><p><strong>STATS:</strong></p><p><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d55c852b6c7b8d875bf017c/original-nate-diaz-stats" style="width:100%" /></p><p> </p><p><strong>PROS:</strong></p><p>•<strong> Brazilian Jiu Jitsu</strong> (Nate Diaz is truly world class. He grew up in a Gracie Academy until his brother started his own BJJ Academy. He now teaches classes there and has 13 submission victories in his pro MMA career.)</p><p>• <strong>Striking</strong> (While Nate Diaz hasn’t been the best striker in any division he has competed in, he is an above average striker who doesn’t have crazy power but is very accurate.)</p><p>• <strong>Stamina</strong> (I know that Nate Diaz is coming in off a three year layoff and bad cardio is one of the first things we tend to see with ring rust, but he is a avid runner who enters marathons regularly. He also spends every day rolling on mats so I think we should see his old cardio which is great.)</p><p> </p><p><strong>CONS:</strong></p><p>• <strong>Footwork</strong> (I don’t know what it is about the Diaz brothers, but I hate the footwork they show me in the cage. It’s weird, slow and not very good at all.)</p><p>• <strong>Power</strong> (Nate’s power has never been good, and I don’t expect much to change in the co-main event on Saturday night.)</p><p>• <strong>The Layoff </strong>( It’s been THREE YEARS MAN).</p><p> </p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/fPHv2xM3pq4uZ9EAa_MbiKVpE4c=/0x0:1920x1282/1200x800/filters:focal(767x202:1073x508)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/61696881/252_Tony_Ferguson_x_Anthony_Pettis.0.jpg" style="width:90%" /></p><h2>Anthony Pettis</h2><p>From the age of 5, Anthony Pettis has trained in taekwondo and boxing. In college he wrestled and at the age of 18 went to train at Roufusport to become a professional mixed martial artist. He started on a small regional scene, and after becoming 8-0 he signed a deal with World Extreme Cage fighting. After winning 5 of 6 in WEC and becoming the WEC lightweight champion, Pettis signed a deal with the UFC. At a TUF Finale he made his debut against Clay Guida but lost via unanimous decision. After losing his first fight, he won the next three fights and found himself fighting for the UFC lightweight championship against Benson Henderson at UFC: 164. Pettis won that night and the UFC championship as a sizeable underdog when he beat Henderson via submission. His success would be short lived, only defending his title once successfully only to eventually lose to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC: 185. After losing the title Pettis lost three straight and was considered dead and buried. The MMA community thought he was washed up but rallied nicely winning 4 of the last 7 fights and goes into Saturday night off a huge knockout victory over Wonderboy Thompson. Can Pettis keep the momentum and beat Diaz? Below is a look at Anthony Pettis, by the numbers.</p><p> </p><p><strong>STATS:</strong></p><p><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d55c983b6c7b8d875bf017d/original-anthony-pettis-stats" style="width:100%" /></p><p> </p><p><strong>PROS:</strong></p><p>• <strong>Striking</strong> (Anthony Pettis is one of the most creative strikers on the UFC roster. His footwork is great, and he cuts the angle well due to his background as a boxer.)</p><p>• <strong>Power</strong> (Pettis always had knockout power as a lightweight but I wasn’t sure how his power would transfer against bigger men at welterweight. It took all of one fight to figure that out when he knocked out Wonderboy Thompson at 170 lbs. Suffice it to say, it’s not a problem.)</p><p>• <strong>Well</strong> <strong>Rounded</strong> (Anthony Pettis is very well rounded. He has a black belt in taekwondo, grew up as a boxer and has a blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It shows in his record as well, you can’t ask for more than 10 TKO and 8 submission victories.)</p><p> </p><p><strong>CONS:</strong></p><p>• <strong>Chin</strong> (Pettis has lost by knockout multiple times. I don’t know how this will effect him this Saturday. Diaz is more of a volume striker than a power striker, but it’s worth noting that if he hits the button with enough force, he can drop Pettis.)</p><p>• <strong>Consistency</strong> (Pettis has alternated wins and losses his last 8 fights. That is a potential problem considering he won his last fight.)</p><p>• <strong>Risk</strong> (I said earlier that he is an extremely creative striker, but the problem with that is sometimes he puts himself in situations chock full of unnecessary risks.)</p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5cf03e868744ba9e8d3ce427/original-ufc-153-veredict" style="width:80%" /></p><h2><strong>THE VERDICT</strong></h2><p>This fight comes down to two words: THREE YEARS. Does Nate Diaz have the skillset to beat Anthony Pettis? Of course he does, he beat Conor McGregor. The problem is it’s one thing running in marathons and teaching BJJ every day for three years and another thing fighting someone that is trying to kill you when you haven’t been in that situations in three years. Can Nate Diaz shock the world again? I guess he could, yea. Due to his lifestyle, there is a real chance that cardio isn’t an issue for Diaz at all, but it’s not a guarantee. My other issue is how sharp can his striking really be without real cage work since UFC: 202??? I’m going to go with not very sharp, and if that is the case, I just don’t see a path to victory for him unless he catches Pettis sleeping and he throws up a quick submission.</p><p>Anthony Pettis is surging right now. He hasn’t looked this good since he won the lightweight championship against Benson Henderson. His knockout over Wonderboy shocked me even though I bet him. It was a flyer, I thought the chances were he would probably lose, and he</p><p>didn’t, he looked great. The one thing that concerns me is his inconsistency, but I am willing to write that off. Two of those losses were against Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson, and he had them both seriously hurt even though he couldn’t get the job done. Pettis is sharp right now, and at the very least Diaz is not. Nate is one of my favorite fighters, but I’m not a fanboy, I’m a gambler. Anthony Pettis gets the job done Saturday night, BOOK IT!</p><p><strong>The Pick:</strong></p><ul> <li>Anthony Pettis to win at 10/13 (1.77) 1u</li></ul><div> </div><div style="text-align:center"><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=162&amp;a=ec641d03-1e6d-4096-9f5f-d2a6939022d0&amp;f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="https://cmscdn.staticcache.org/assets/image/0005/1349915/Biggest-Ever-Bet-Boost-1280x480-English-UK.jpg" style="width:100%" /></a></div></div>
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