In August, one of the UFC’s biggest stars Nate Diaz will make his long-awaited return to the octagon after three years away as he faces off against Anthony Pettis in a welterweight clash.
Diaz has not fought for the promotion since his five-round war with Conor McGregor in August of 2016 but returns in the co-main event of UFC 241 in Anaheim.
Understandably, the UFC have been hyping up the Stockton native’s return, which is highly anticipated given the level of star power Diaz possesses.
On Sunday evening they released a promo video ahead of UFC 241, detailing Diaz’s career with his win in the Ultimate Fighter season five as well as his victories over Michael Johnson, Takanori Gomi and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone included.
— UFC (@ufc) May 26, 2019
What is conspicuous by its absence however is highlights from his two fights with McGregor, widely considered the biggest bouts of Diaz’s career.
The two fights currently sit second and third on the list of the company’s highest pay-per-view buyrates, with many fans still clamouring for a trilogy bout which would no doubt deliver once again.
Diaz had been scheduled to return against current interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 230 this past November, but the bout was cancelled after “The Diamond’s” injury.
The UFC has reportedly had issues trying to find Diaz an opponent over the past couple of years, with the Stockton native only interested in big money fights.
A fight with Anthony Pettis has been years in the making with both respective camps hardly seeing eye to eye in the past with the former lightweight champion outlining in an interview with Ariel Helwani that he’s been a long time waiting to get his hands on Diaz.
“It’s a perfect fight for me. You know me and Nate. We have had beef and drama for a long time, so this is something that was supposed to happen a long time ago and it’s finally happening,” Pettis said.
“I don’t even remember where it started, what event. I was the champion, but we have always had drama. And every time we saw each other it’s like something was going to happen,” he said. “It was just one of those things that he may have been jealous that I was the champ, he wanted a shot at me.”
“Then he got his McGregor fight and went MIA. That chapter never closed in my life, so for me it was something that had to happen.”