On Saturday night, Aug. 17, 2019, Nate Diaz made his illustrious return to the UFC Octagon for the co-main event of UFC 241.
Diaz took on former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis in a welterweight showdown at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Diaz has not competed in just under three years, since losing a majority decision to Conor McGregor at UFC 202 in August 2016. Diaz headed into that fight after submitting McGregor five months earlier, on short notice, at UFC 196. UFC fans around the world weren’t sure if this day would come, but now that it’s here, a lot of buzz has been added to the event.
Pettis is looking to make a perfect 2-0 in the welterweight division. After a second-round TKO loss to Tony Ferguson at UFC 229 in October, “Showtime” made the move to 170-pounds to take on Stephen Thompson in the main event of UFC Nashville in April, picking up a second-round knockout win via Superman punch over the two-time welterweight title challenger.
Here is how the huge co-main event between Nate Diaz and Anthony Pettis went down at UFC 241, including MyMMANews.com’s round-by-round scoring. For full UFC 241 results, check them out right here.
Nate Diaz looks in amazing shape, and is fired up for this one. Anthony Pettis is also looking all sorts of intense as he steps into the Octagon for this highly anticipated co-main event. Mike Beltran gets them ready and they’re off. They circle around the cage and Pettis throws a low kick immediately. Diaz comes forward and lands a front kick to the body. Diaz pressuring and Pettis lands a right hand. Leg kick by Pettis. Another one thrown by Pettis, Diaz checks it. Pettis with a left hand behind the ear and they clinch against the fence. Diaz with a knee to the body and those classic short pushes. Pettis separates and lands a hard right hand to the body. Front kick to the body by Diaz. Pettis with a combination, finished with a high kick. Diaz moves forward and they ties up against the fence. Knees to the legs by Diaz, followed by a knee to the body. Right hand by Diaz catches Pettis’s attention. Left hand by Pettis with less than two minutes to go. They trade body kicks and Diaz lands takedown. Pettis locks in a guillotine and Diaz slips out. Diaz with a right hand and the ground battle continues with under a minute to go. Diaz has back side control, and takes the back of Pettis. Diaz mounts and lands some right hands. Hip escape by Pettis, but Diaz maintains the position as the final seconds approach. Diaz with right hands off of his back as the round ends.
MyMMANews.com scores it 10-9 for Diaz
They meet in the center and Pettis throws a leg kick, checked by Diaz and Pettis looks to have hurt his shin. They tie up and Diaz lands a knee and a kick to the leg of Pettis. Left hand by Pettis lands. Diaz throws a combination, Pettis counters with a right hand and a leg kick. Diaz walking forward, but looks to be having trouble with his left eye. Pettis digs to the body of Diaz. Mike Beltran stops the action so the doctor can take a look at Diaz’s eye. Diaz, of course, says he’s good to go and the action continues. Left hand by Diaz. Right hand by Pettis and Diaz shakes his head. Diaz charges forward and they tie up against the fence. Pettis shoves him off and Diaz gets right back on him, landing a knee to the body. They separate and Pettis lands a digging right hand to the body of Diaz. Right hand by Diaz and he takes Pettis’ back and they head to the ground. Diaz in side control and lands a series of left hands. Pettis scrambles back to his feet and Diaz lands a big knee to the head of Pettis. They tie up against the fence and Diaz lands a big elbow after a knee to Pettis’ leg. Another big elbow from Diaz and Pettis returns fire with a right hand. Diaz stuns Pettis with a right hand and the Stockton native is relentless with the pressure. Pettis with a jumping knee, and Diaz lands a knee to the body. Diaz with some short punches with under 30 seconds to go. Diaz is cut above the right eye. Diaz all over Pettis and “Showtime” is firing back. Diaz with a flurry as the horn sounds. Diaz walks back to the corner without taking a hard breath. Pettis is exhausted.
MyMMANews.com scores it 10-9 for Diaz
Pettis needs to make something happen here and keep Diaz off of him. Diaz throws a body kick and goes right into the clinch against the fence. Pettis throwing, Diaz is answering. Left hand to the body by Diaz and Pettis still seems to be favoring his leg from that checked kick in the second round. Diaz continues to move forward, but Pettis is landing a bit more to start this round. Pettis pushes Diaz against the fence. Diaz separates and keeps the pressure on. Big left hand by Diaz and the flurry is on. Big knees from Diaz and Pettis is down. Diaz is all over him. Beltran looks like he is going to stop it, but he elects to let it go. Diaz has a hook in as he takes Pettis’ back. Diaz has the second hook in and Pettis reverses the position and ends up on top. Pettis needs to make something big happen here after that barrage by Diaz. Pettis is trying to land anything he can, Diaz landing shots from the bottom, working from his back. Pettis stands up and dives back on top of Diaz, who continues to land elbows from the bottom. Diaz looking for an armbar, Pettis looks to take the back and Diaz scrambles. Diaz has his back and is landing big punches. Uppercuts landed by Diaz as Pettis tries to stand. Diaz puts both hooks back in. Big right hand from Diaz with less than 25 seconds left. Diaz has the arm under the chin, Pettis scrambles out and reverses position again. Diaz scrambles, Pettis steps out of it, and the horn sounds. Nate Diaz is back!
MyMMANews.com scores it 10-9 and the fight 30-27 for Nate Diaz
Official result: Nate Diaz def. Anthony Pettis by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
After the win, Diaz calls out Jorge Masvidal for a fight, and who wouldn’t love to see that?