Nate Diaz spoke to Ariel Helwani of ESPN in a recent interview and explained how his decision to return to the UFC came about.
A lot of people refuse to believe that it’s going ahead but as things stand, UFC 241 will see Diaz step into the octagon for the first time in three years as he faces the in-form Anthony Pettis.
Originally set to return against Dustin Poirier last year, Nate eventually pulled from the card entirely after his opponent withdrew from the fight citing an injury.
With an eye on UFC 241, Nate did seem disappointed by the fact that he is not the night’s main attraction, but even still, expressed his satisfaction with the prospect of sharing the cage with an action fighter like Showtime.
“There are other guys who are mentally p***ies getting slapped in their faces, this guy [Pettis] is down to fight so we’re going to go in there and have a fight.
“That’s what it’s going to be, whether he likes me or not it’s all good. It’s the main-event. They’re going to call it the co-main-event but that’s the degrading shit they do to me because they don’t want no love or [PPV] points going my way.
“It’s the UFC vs. Nate Diaz for some reason so I’m just going to do what I’ve got to do to keep moving forward.”
With his return now set in stone, a lot of the big questions that surrounded Diaz in the last three years have been related to the amount of time he had spent sitting on the sidelines.
Never one to play ball with the powers-that-be, Diaz cited disrespect on the part of the UFC as a reason for his inactivity of late.
“Sitting on the sidelines like that, I thought ‘fuck them, I don’t need to fight nobody if you guys ain’t going to give me any love’.
“Then I was like ‘oh wait, this is exactly what they want me to do, they want me to die somewhere – fall off a bridge.”
“So I found the best fight I could get. I saw Pettis knock out Thompson and it was worthy so I called them and was like ‘yo, let’s do the Pettis thing.”
Love him or hate him, the UFC is always a lot more fun with a rebellious force like Nate in the mix.
Both he and his brother Nick have made their careers on the dual-edged sword that is their electric fighting style and their inimitable personalities and while they are no doubt set for life on the back of some smart business decisions outside of the octagon, they are fighters in the truest sense of the word.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena