On Saturday night at UFC 241, Nate Diaz stepped back into the cage for the first time in three years and made easy work of Anthony Pettis. He stalked the former champ and unleashed endless flurries of punches that forced Pettis into the cage. Pettis was forced to turn his back on the feet and drop to the ground to escape the endless onslaught. Diaz would win the fight 30-27x2, 29-28 on the judges’ scorecards.
Diaz wasted little time in calling out his next opponent.
”Jorge Masvidal had a good last fight, all respect to the man,” Diaz told Joe Rogan (watch it here). “There ain’t no gangsters in this game any more. There ain’t nobody that got it right but me and him. So I know he’s a gangster, but he’s no west coast gangster.”
”You gotta recognize who the best of the best in this game is,” he said at the UFC 241 post-event press conference “And it’s not who they’re saying it is. It’s who I’m saying it is.”
”I’m just the best fighter in this whole game and they’re giving belts to other people and making people work for belts,” he told the UFC’s Megan Olivi backstage shortly after the win. “But I’m the champ and as far as I’m concerned, he is too.”
”I’m motivated to fight the best fighters judged on what I think and what real martial artists think, and who we think are the best not these guys say are the best. The champs right now, they’re just good at loopholes to winning, not technical martial artists. I think Jorge Masvidal, besides me, is the best in the game at it and I thought Pettis was also. That’s why I asked for that fight, and I knew it was a dangerous fight. And that’s why I went in there with kill or be killed attitude because I knew that’s what I was risking fighting him or Masvidal.”
”Imma keep it real, fight the realest best fighters that there are,” he concluded. “For the three years that I was out, I was sitting there like ‘Why ain’t anyone recognizing the best in the game?’ You guys are all sorry that’s why, and that’s what it is. So I’m going to defend the baddest motherf**ker belt, baddest motherf**ker in the game belt against who I beleive is the other baddest motherf**ker in the game.”
Masvidal seemed pretty open to the matchup based on his big smile ringside after Diaz called him out. But both men have made it clear that they need their financial compensation upped by the UFC before they step back into the cage. If the UFC can’t come to terms with Diaz, he’s implied he’ll go right back to doing whatever he’s been doing the past three years.
“If everything works out right how it’s supposed to work out, I’ll fight next month,” Diaz said. “If nobody wants to get this done how it’s supposed to be done and do it right, and treat it like it should be treated, I ain’t even in no rush. It’s not me who’s going to be doing the sitting out. It’s something that’s going to be holding me out, or people not jumping on there trying to get it done. And that’s where I’ve been for the last three years, because I never stopped training camp.”
“Nobody was showing any acknowledgement for being the best fighter in the world, which I am, just like Masvidal, that’s what I’m saying.”