Could a new mixed martial arts (MMA) rivalry be brewing?
It sure looks that way, with the bullseye on the back of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis growing bigger. And Nate Diaz and his older brother, Nick Diaz, are seemingly at the tip of the spear.
Despite rampant Twitter rumors of a confrontation with "The Stockton Slugger" in a nightclub last weekend (Nov. 16, 2013) after UFC 167 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Pettis denied ever coming face-to-face with the 209 contingent.
"Showtime" did, however, confirm a minor scuffle with a member of his entourage.
Pettis explains (via MMA Fight Corner):
"I think Twitter made it bigger than it really was. One of Nick Diaz' friends, I was taking a picture with a fan, (Diaz' friend) had something to say, my family don't play, their family don't play, drinks got thrown, security came. Me and Nick Diaz never had a confrontation together, I think Twitter blew it up a little more than it was. That's normal for me in Milwaukee, nothing big."
Homie don't play that!
Of course, the root of all of the hostility could be traced back when Nate took it upon himself to declare he was going to fight Pettis for the title next instead of fighting Gray Maynard at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale.
A few weeks later, Nate took to Twitter one more time to accuse the 155-pound champion of "bitching out" of his scheduled title fight against Josh Thomson at UFC on Fox 9 after "Showtime" was forced to withdraw from the contest with a torn PCL.
Not one to sit back and bite his tongue, Pettis to social media to fire back at Diaz by clowning his "lissssp" and woes inside the Octagon. According to the 155-pound champion, it's all part of being the new king on the block, but says don't expect him to just sit back and keep quiet if he's insulted.
"It comes with the territory. I am the champ, but I'm a human being, man. You talk stuff, I'm going to respond back. I'm not that guy that's going to sit back. I mean hey, figure out who is going to fight me next. If you're talking trash, let's set it up. But, get some wins first."
As entertaining as a sanctioned fight between Nate and Pettis would be, it will likely have to come at a much later time, if ever, seeing as how both of their respective careers are headed in very different directions at the moment.
Nate is currently on a two-fight losing streak, while Pettis is riding high with four straight wins, including his dominant submission victory over former Lightweight champion Ben Henderson at UFC 164, a bout that saw "Showtime" claim the division strap.
But, could a potential scrap against Pettis to settle differences between families be enough to lure big brother Nick back into the Octagon? Pettis seems to be game, and Nick might be, too, if we could just decipher this tweet.