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There was once a time when UFC president Dana White spoke about Nate Diaz, saying that he wasn’t a “needle mover.”
That time has come and gone.
Diaz returned from a near-three-year layoff and rolled to a victory over former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 in Anaheim, Calif. The bout cast a large shadow over the event, which was headlined by the heavyweight championship rematch between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic.
Fans were tuning in left and right for Diaz’s return. He was moving the needle.
Following his win over Pettis, White discussed Diaz’s return as the UFC’s new anti-hero, declaring his star power on the same footing as Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey.