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The last time we saw Nate Diaz in the octagon he looked on as Conor McGregor had his hand raised in victory after their welterweight matchup at UFC 202. McGregor prevailed in that August 2016 bout via majority decision. On Saturday, after nearly three years without a fight, Diaz returns to action. He faces former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis in the co-main event of the UFC 241 pay-per-view card, which takes place in Anaheim, California and will be shown on ESPN+.
The fight is not without an ugly backstory.
“We’ve just always had this drama,” Pettis told ESPN in May. “Every time we saw each other, something was going to happen. He might have been jealous I was the champ. He wanted his shot at me. He got his [Conor] McGregor fight and then went MIA. That chapter never closed in my life, so to me, this is something that had to happen.”
“I can’t wait to hurt this guy. This is a personal fight for me,” Pettis added. “This is one guy I just don’t like. Me and Diaz got problems. Now we can solve them.”
Pettis held the UFC lightweight title from August 2013 through March 2015, when he lost to Rafael dos Anjos. His record over his past ten fights is a disappointing 4-6. During that stretch the ex-champ has fought at lightweight, featherweight and welterweight. But he is coming off a March knockout win over former two-time UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson.
As for Diaz, in the “Countdown” video for the event, he referred to Pettis as the “Wheaties box dude.”
HOW TO WATCH OR STREAM UFC 241
UFC 241 takes place Saturday, August 17 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The pay-per-view card streams on ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET. Prelims begin at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN following the early prelims which start at 6:30 ET on UFC Fight Pass.
UFC 241 Pay-Per-View (ESPN+ 10 p.m. ET)
Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic
Anthony Pettis vs. Nate Diaz
Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Costa
Gabriel Benítez vs. Sodiq Yusuff
Derek Brunson vs. Ian Heinisch
UFC 241 Prelims (ESPN 8 p.m. ET)
Khama Worthy vs. Devonte Smith
Raphael Assunção vs. Cory Sandhagen
Manny Bermudez vs. Casey Kenney
Drakkar Klose vs. Christos Giagos
UFC 241 Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass 6:30 p.m. ET)
Hannah Cifers vs. Jodie Esquibel
Kyung Ho Kang vs. Brandon Davis
Sabina Mazo vs. Shana Dobson