The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views has changed: UFC 241 is only available on ESPN+ in the U.S.
Nate Diaz finally makes his long-awaited return to the Octagon after a three-year layoff. The former Ultimate Fighting Championship title challenger is set to face Anthony Pettis, who just made a successful debut at 170, knocking out Stephen Thompson earlier this year.
See who gets a promising start to their welterweight conquest as Diaz and Pettis collide at UFC 241 on Aug. 17 in Anaheim, California.
RankingDiaz returned to welterweight from lightweight for his first fight with Conor McGregor, which he won. That was at UFC 196 held on March 5, 2016. Diaz, however, was unsuccessful in their rematch at UFC 202. Despite his last two bouts being at welterweight and having not competed since 2016, Diaz remained in the top 15 of the lightweight rankings until recently.
Meanwhile, a lot has happened for Pettis in the time that Diaz remained inactive. For one, he earned the right to contend for the interim featherweight title opposite Max Holloway, although he was deemed ineligible to win the belt due to missing weight. He then alternated wins and losses at lightweight before moving up to welterweight, where he dealt the first knockout loss of Thompson’s career. Pettis is currently No. 8 in the UFC welterweight rankings, as a result.
Wins by knockoutDiaz uses his ability to control distance to frustrate his opponents and land volume punches. His combinations and timing have left five opponents unable to continue. Outside of the UFC, Diaz knocked out Gilbert Rael and Tony Juarez. His victims inside the Octagon are Gray Maynard, Rory Markham and Manny Gamburyan (shoulder injury). That’s five wins by KO or TKO from the Richard Perez protégé.
The more dynamic striker of the two and owner of some of the finest kicks in mixed martial arts, Pettis owns a 50 percent knockout rate. The Duke Roufus student started his career with five straight victories by KO or TKO. He would score six more for a total of 11 wins by knockout. His UFC victims are Thompson, Donald Cerrone and Joe Lauzon.
Wins by submissionUFC 241’s co-headliner is a battle of black belts, both of whom are crafty in their approach. Pettis’ sneaky armbar of Benson Henderson at UFC 164 is perhaps the most memorable in his career as it earned him the UFC lightweight title. He also tapped out Michael Chiesa, Charles Oliveira, Gilbert Melendez, Shane Roller, Alex Karalexis and Mike Campbell. In total, he has seven career wins by submission.
For Diaz, there is none more memorable than his rear-naked choke of McGregor. It was a fight the pride of Stockton, California, took on short notice, yet ended up being victorious. Apart from that, he has 11 more career submission victories, seven of which were at lightweight.