Anthony Pettis is looking forward to putting years of drama with Nate Diaz behind him when the Welterweight pair lock horns at UFC 241 inside Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., this weekend (Sat., Aug. 17, 2019). Diaz insists he has no ill will toward Pettis, but the latter is still holding onto statements made by his opponent years ago.
“He was talking mad s—t a long time ago, four years ago,” Pettis told MMAmania.com during Wednesday’s UFC 241 open workouts (watch it). “Now that I saw he has toned it down, it is what it is. If we fight, if we squash this s—t, I’m good with it. It sounds like it was jealousy more than actual problems. I was waiting to hear what his real problem was. I watched the ‘Countdown’ show and he had nothing besides the Wheaties guy.”
“I wanted this to be a five-round fight,” he continued. “I don’t think I need that, but I wanted a five-round fight because of the animosity and tension that’s been there for so f—king long. I remember I did an interview in 2015 about this. Same exact s—t is popping up. I’m not that dude that needs to talk and sell fights. Both our styles sell fights. He bleeds, he comes straight forward. I bleed, I come straight forward. That’s all that matters.”
“Nate is a fan-favorite because of one fight: Conor McGregor,” Pettis argued. “Before that he beat Michael Johnson, he lost to everybody at 155. He had two fights at 170 and got his ass whooped. I need to remind everybody who the f—k I am.”
After some thought, however, he could see another reason why Diaz has facilitated such fanfare.
“His style, too,” Pettis admitted. “He’s a real ass dude. If he doesn’t like you he doesn’t like you. I respect that about him. There are a lot of fake ass fighters in the UFC who talk s—t behind your back and I don’t like that s—t.”
If there is one thing Pettis (22-8) really respects about Diaz (20-11) it is his approach on fight night.
“Even though me and Nate have our problems, I respect his game,” he said. He’s a fan-favorite fighter. He’s going to come and try to fight me. He’s not going to try and hold me down for 15 minutes and sneak out a decision. I respect that about him.
“Nate’s a fighter,” Pettis continued. “I would never say Nate’s not a fighter. Nate comes out there and he bangs and he fights. There are holes in his game and we have seen them exposed and I doubt that he’s changed them.”
UFC 241 is headlined by a UFC Heavyweight title fight between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic. MMAmania.com is on location for fight week so keep us on lock for all the latest news.