Anthony Pettis Still Holding Out Hope to Face Nate Diaz Next

June 8, 2012
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Former WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is still waiting on word about his next fight, but he’s still holding out hope it will be against Nate Diaz.

Pettis will return to action most likely in September after shoulder surgery put him on the sidelines for a few months, but he’s healthy and looking to target the top of the lightweight division.

Since a title shot will allude him once again, Pettis’ hope is to land a fight with Diaz, fresh off his win over Jim Miller at UFC on Fox 3.

Currently, Diaz has stated he will sit and wait for the winner of the bout between champion Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar at UFC 150 in Denver, but Pettis’ manager Mike Roberts of MMA Inc. isn’t sold on the Stockton, Calif. sitting and waiting for the better part of 9 or 10 months.

“We all know that everybody can change their minds, I believe that’s the fight that makes the most sense,” Roberts told MMAWeekly Radio on Tuesday. “I can’t imagine Nate Diaz would want to sit out as long as he’s going to have to, to fight, just to wait to fight.

“I think Nate Diaz is a fighter before a guy that wants to be a champion. Waiting is his choice and his prerogative. I can’t see him wanting to wait.”

Pettis and his manager both want to make something crystal clear however. They aren’t calling for a fight with Nate Diaz to make some kind of personal beef. It’s all about getting a lightweight title shot, and if Pettis can’t get Benson Henderson, then he wants the next guy standing in the way.

That just so happens to be Nate Diaz.

“It’s not that Anthony wants to fight Nate Diaz for any other reason than Dana saying he’s the No. 1 contender. If we can’t get the guy with the title, that’s the next guy in line. So it’s definitely not a personal thing with Nate,” Roberts stated.

“It’s that Nate’s next in line and Anthony feels he should be the No. 1 contender.”

While the preference for Pettis’ return fight to the Octagon would be Nate Diaz, his management team won’t cry over spilled milk if they don’t get it. They’ll just move on to the next challenge with a hope that a lightweight title shot will soon be offered to the last fighter to defeat current champion Benson Henderson.

“At the end of the day if it’s not Nate Diaz, we’ll take whoever’s next who’s available to fight,” said Roberts.

Pettis is getting back into full training mode currently and expects to land on a card coming up in September, although no date for his return has been confirmed yet.

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  • CharlieMarley

    Nate is gunna mop him!

  • me vs you

    right on!

  • RubeKegal

    Pettis via KO that we would all love!

    • RonnieV

      You would love it, but you know that wouldn’t happen.

      • RubeKegal

        When I commented on this I was the 3rd comment, when I clicked back on the link and saw that their were 14 comments, i knew Ronnie was going to reply to my comment haha

  • MaritalArtist

    Nate is a total stud at LW, so nothing against him, but I don’t see anyone beating Pettis these days. Maybe benson or Frankie, but even with those guys, I think it’s still a 50/50 coin flip.

  • piccini_51

    I think Pettis is going to have to fight the same fight that Condit fought vs Nick Diaz, the Diaz brothers have some if not the best boxing in MMA, so standing and making it a brawl with Nate would be stupid, you can ask Donald Cerrone or Jim Miller, if he can stick and move just like Condit did vs Nick he would be ok if not is going to be a long night for Pettis.

    • bajafox

      Good point, if Pettis brings the Natural Born Runner to his camp to learn how to run away for 25 minutes and get his hand raised in the end. That should truly solidify his #1 contender status.

      • RubeKegal

        aww is someone upset? Listen I was pissed when Bisping beat leben, but he executed a perfect gameplan. Condit sharted on Diaz’s title hopes, AND I REAPED THE BENEFITS!! MUHAHAHAHAHAH!

        • rsnowbass

          Well said RubeK. Yes, Condit did some running away but there were quite a few moments where Diaz was getting picked apart. Do whatcha gotta do to get the win and title shot…

          • McFearless

            the pussification of America is here people. with no end in sight

          • rsnowbass

            Keyboard toughguy here…Mc sumpin or another…

      • smill0313

        Quit swinging from diaz’s bag. Condit has 27 wins! 13 by ko, 13 by sub and ONLY 1 win by decision, yet you call him the natural born runner cuz your boy got taken out of his element and you don’t have your facts straight. The natural born killer is a finisher and his record speaks for how well rounded he is. Stop hating.

        • KBEsq

          Yup, totally agree and I’ve said this same thing on other posts (except he has 28 wins, and only two by decision). It’s utterly ridiculous that people disrespect Condit when he has a record like that. 26 of his 28 wins are finishes, and he has a split 13/13 KO/Sub ratio. That’s insane – in fact, you show me another fighter with a stat like that.

          • smill0313

            Yeah, just realized compustrikes win/lose stats were pre-fight on the link. I dont know if there even is another fighter with that many wins yet has equal ko/sub finishes. I have been saying since his wec days that condit was a beast and he has a real chance of finishing gsp.

    • maddawgmar

      True, but I think that Nate mixes it up more than Nick. Nick likes to bang but Nate likes to submit. So I think he would strike to set up his submission. Plus I think Nate would change his strategy if that happened.

    • bajafox

      Do we really need 5 posts hugging on Condits nuts?

      If I went to a football game and saw plauyers not trying to tackle I’d be just as pissed, regardless of what team is playing.

      I was a huge fan of Condit before that fight, he disappointed me as a fighter, plain and simple. It could have been GSP, Hendricks, BJ Penn, anyone, point is it was a crappy “fight.”

      • smill0313

        You claim diaz is ‘the best striker in the business’ yet fault condit for not playing into his strengths and taking him out of his comfort zone. We are used to seeing diaz’s opponents frustrated and in this bout, he was clearly the frustrated one, and fell victim to his own style of trap. Also, I believe condit landed a 4 strike combo ending in a head kick. Never seen anyone else, diaz included, land something like that. You do not understand mma if you think condit had a bad performance. Quick profiling question: who wins in silva – sonnen 2?

  • SuperNate-AO

    Where would Pettis have an advantage? Diaz seems to have slightly better skills in both stand up and ground fighting but a stand up war would be fun to watch.

    • rsnowbass

      Pettis is faster, more explosive and more unpredictable than Diaz. He’s also pretty lengthy, not as much as Diaz but deceptive.

      This is my favorite LW matchup if it can happen.

      As for the article:

      “I think Nate Diaz is a fighter before a guy that wants to be a champion.”

      Doesn’t every fighter want to be Champion?

    • smill0313

      Pettis would have an obvious advantage in kickboxing. with the pitter patter style of diazs boxing and how fast and unpredictable pettis is, diaz may eat a perfectly timed head kick with his blocking arm in extension from a punch. He was able to negate hendos wrestling so no reason pettis couldn’t keep this a kickboxing match against a boxer.

  • grendel

    I would like to see pettis vs cerrone if this fight does not come thru

    • smill0313

      Me too. Almost as much as this fight.

  • markrenton

    As long as the wait may be, I still see Diaz waiting for the title shot. If he fought Pettis and lost, it drop him right back down the ladder.

    Eddie Alvarez is coming to the UFC in the near future and I think Alvarez vs Pettis would be a pretty awesome fight.

  • I’m a huge fan of both, but Pettis has the superior stand up between the two and Nate will stand with him so Pettis round 4 KO.

    • bajafox

      LOL, you’re kidding right? The Diaz brothers are the 2 best strikers in the business.

      • RubeKegal

        lol 2 best strikers in the business?!? Are you part of CESAR GRACIE JIU JITSU!???

    • maddawgmar

      I’d have to respectfully disagree. I don’t agree with Baja, but Nate has probably the best boxing at lightweight. And Pettis had a tough time striking with Stephens. There is no reason to think that Diaz will get KO’d. He never has been. The only time he was stopped was against Franca, and that was when he was a lower belt in BJJ. I think Nate has hit his prime, he is evolving, and may even be better than his brother.

      • bajafox

        I take it back, maddawgmar said it better than I did. I meant boxing…

        RubeKegal, yes, I’m part of his camp, that’s why I post on mmaweekly, to keep you guys updated…lol

  • MR.F 956

    great matchup lets make it happen

  • RonnieV

    I would love to see this match-up, but Nate has earned the right to wait for his title shot. Rogan mentioned at the Jim Miller fight that Nate has been the most active fighter in the UFC over the past two years(8 fights). Dude deserves a break!

  • KBEsq

    I think Pettis has a great chance in this fight. We need to stop thinking guys are invincible because they are on an impressive winning streak, and I will admit that Diaz’s win streak is impressive. However, all these guys lose.

    It wasn’t but just a year ago or so that Diaz was getting handled by MacDonald and Dong Hyung. Yes, I know that was at 170, but we dont’ even have to go back that much further to see losses to Guida, Maynard and Stevenson.

    Calm down about Diaz. He’s admittedly doing awesome right now, but he’s not invincible.

  • johnnylopes

    Pettis’ Manager is dumb… yeah he would sit out 9 months for a shot at the champ, i would wait for the fight… its a title fight i would want a few months extra training then the champ, nate gets to see who wins n imidetely put it in his gameplan n have a slight training edge… he has everything to lose against pettis n pettis has nothing to lose, if pettis loses to diaz hes still 2 fights away from a title shot (he would prob get the loser of edgar v henderson and then fight who evers the next contender) so if my point being Diaz has all that on his mind, he wont change it, hes gonna wait and pettis is gonna have to deal w it

  • GiovanniB

    Pettis would get eaten just like Nick got a deek put in his a-ss for his pleasure…LOL. Nick is a piece of shet. If condit beat Nick imagine what GSP would’ve done to him. He totally would’ve raped Nick and make him retire for real. Pettis is just a lucky punk. I think Nate is better than his brother and more professional. He knows he can’t be like his brother or else he’ll ruin his career and living. He tries to act like his brother, but he knows how to refrain himself because he likes the money. Screw pettis and Nick Diaz.

  • It might be a lot easier finding a sparing partner to mimick the boxing style of Nate Diaz than to find a TaeKwonDo expert with a style like Showtimes. Plus Pettis has great take down defense and a great understanding of JUJITSU and how to defend against submissions which would neutralize Nates JUJITSU. It would be a stand up fight mostly. Pettis going in better prepared for this fight, a win by unanimous decision.