"Nate Diaz thinks he is the #1 contender, I think I'm the #1 contender, so lets figure out who the real #1 contender is"
Don't worry Anthony we will figure out who the real number one contender is, or at least who Mania thinks he is. Just let me do my intro firstly,
In modern day Mixed Martial Arts, their are fans who proclaim that one fighter was and is now significantly better than another at one point in time, but what happens when we put two elite fighters in their prime against one another? The era of MMA today is that fighters are training Wrestling, Striking & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu before even competing in their first MMA fight whether it be amateur or professional.
Join me after the jump as I simulate the fight between these two Lightweight elites that has never happened.
Anthony "Showtime" Pettis(15-2)
Anthony Pettis is the last ever WEC Lightweight Champion a title he won by defeating current UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson by Unanimous Decision, showcasing incredible striking, tenacious grappling skills and oh yeah that Showtime Kick to win an incredibly fast paced close bout. Pettis has highlight reel striking and is coming off a huge victory over Joe Lauzon via Head Kick KO in the very first round. Pettis was bypassed for a title shot after losing his UFC debut to Clay Guida where he was clearly outwrestled to a UD loss, he rebounded with a Split decision win over hard punching Lightweight Jeremy Stephens and the Lauzon KO mentioned earlier.
Strengths: Striking, Underrated Submission skills, Elusiveness and Durability.
Weaknesses: Wrestling, Being Pressured.
Notable Wins: Benson Henderson, Jeremy Stephens, Joe Lauzon & Danny Castillo
Keys to victory: Head movement, Anthony Pettis unlike Cerrone does not lack in this department and won't rely mainly on his guard to avoid punches, but his speed, he is undoubtedly faster than Diaz and has to watch out for Nate's basic, but very swarming boxing attack.
Leg Kicks & Jab, Pettis has some of the best in the division, he needs these to slow Diaz down and interest him while coming in, the leg jab is just as disrupting as the the judge jab and Pettis is lethal at both, Pettis has to hit Nate from the outside often and consecutively while maintaining good enough posture to avoid take downs and the clinch. A basic 1-2 combo followed by the leg kick that Aldo and Alves do so perfectly would be perfect for chopping Diaz down, Cowboy looked good, and Hermes Franca smacked those legs back in the day, Pettis is faster than them both.
Take The Distance, Stay on the outside and own the distance, pick Diaz apart with leg kicks and basic combos from the outside. Don't engage in a brawl, outsmart Diaz never stop moving and kick him from every single angle, and manage to maintain the crisper punch combos while sticking and moving, In & Out.
Strengths: Grappling Prowess, Aggressive Style, Iron Chin
Weaknesses: Wrestling, Combination punchers(Guillard first round)
Nate Diaz is the younger brother of two time World Champion Nick, and boasts the same Stockton Gangster persona with an incredible mental game. Nate is an incredible combination puncher and a black belt in BJJ under Cesar Gracie. Nate is riding an incredibly rejuvenated wave of momentum in the lightweight division with a second round submission over tough grappler Jim Miller, whom prior to the fight had never been finished. A submission expert with incredible boxing and unlimited stamina, Nate Diaz is a tough fight for anyone in the Lightweight Division and has the most prominent finishing rate currently in that division aside from Melvin Guillard.
Keys To Victory: Pressure, Diaz is a pressure fighter, who doesn't move backwards at all and throws incredible combinations to both the head and the body. Pettis struggles with guys who constantly come forward and implement their gameplan while cutting off his fancy footwork.
Grappling & Clinchwork, Diaz would like to get on top of Pettis just enough to work his ground game and try out a submission with Pettis on his back or Diaz on bottom, it's a lose lose situation for Pettis, I believe he could hang with Diaz on TOP, but not for very long, on Bottom he's pretty much in a bad situation.
Scenario: Both Fighters are prime, or very close to it. Both of them versus each other NOW in 2012 or in 2013, in a five round FOX Main Event.
My Prediction: Anthony Pettis via Unanimous Decision, Pettis has improved his take down defense leaps and bounds and Diaz isn't the kind of wrestler to put him on his back. This fight will more than likely take place on the feet and Pettis has enough good in his head to stick to his game plan. Pettis outstrikes Diaz with the quicker jabs and leg kicks all night long, the fact that what Pettis needs to do to win this fight is the same thing he does in all his fights makes this pick easier for me. It may not look like the Condit fight since Pettis is a much more tenacious than Condit, he'll make it exciting with those Capoeira kicks and what not. Styles make fights and Anthony Pettis has the best style to outstrike Nate Diaz to a clear UD.
Well have at it, can Pettis out strike Nate to a UD, or will Nate adjust and get yet another impressive finish?