The UFC made official on Wednesday an anticipated bout between two of the most talented and popular fighters of their era.
Former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis and fan favourite Nate Diaz are set to meet in a featured welterweight contest at UFC 241 in August.
It has been nearly three years since mixed martial arts fans last saw Diaz fight in August of 2016 in his rematch with Conor McGregor. Diaz (19-11) was briefly set to return against Dustin Poirier at UFC 230 this past November, but it fell apart after Poirier withdrew due to injury.
Meanwhile, Pettis (22-8) has fought seven times during Diaz’s hiatus going 4-3 over that stretch – his losses were to featherweight champion Max Holloway and interim lightweight champions Poirier and Tony Ferguson. A win over Diaz would put Pettis on the first multi-win streak since 2014.
In his most recent outing, which was his debut in the UFC’s 170-pound weight class, he became the first person to knock out Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.
Pettis-Daiz is a grudge match that has been brewing for years.
“Me and Nate Diaz, we really don’t get along. That’s going to be a fight that when it happens there’s going to be some trash talk,” Pettis told Sportsnet all the way back in 2016. “Me and Nate, if you put us in the same room most likely a fight is gonna happen. That’s just how it is with us. I don’t know how it happened or why the history is that way but we always have an exchange of words. He always had words for me that rubbed me the wrong way. I don’t take that lightly.”
UFC 241 is scheduled to be headlined by a rematch between heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and former champ Stipe Miocic. Other fights expected to take place on the card include: Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Costa, Raphael Assuncao vs. Cory Sandhagen, Derek Brunson vs. Ian Heinisch, Sodiq Yusuff vs. Gabriel Benítez, and John Makdessi vs. Devonte Smith.
The event takes place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.