Nate Diaz showed he’s still as dangerous as ever tonight as he finally made his long awaited comeback in style with a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over Anthony Pettis in the co-main event of UFC 241.
Diaz taking the center of the cage. Pettis misses with his first leg kick of the night. Missed hook from pettis as they get in close.
Push kick from Diaz and a leg kick from Pettis. Diaz presses forward quickly but gets caught with a counter punch.
Leg kick for Pettis. Right hand for Diaz. Body punch from Diaz and punches upstairs, but Pettis lands a good counter too.
Diaz into the clinch against the cage now. Knee usptairs from Diaz. Pettis moves out of the clinch and lands to the body.
Front kick to the body from Diaz. Pettis with punches and then a head kick attempt as Diaz leans in.
One-two for Diaz and then back into the clinch. He lands a few knees to the leg of Pettis. One to the body as well before they separate.
Right hand for Diaz backs up Pettis for a moment. left hook for Pettis. Right hand for Diaz. Body kick from Pettis is caught and Diaz uses that to work for a takedown.
Pettis working for a guillotine choke though as they hit the mat. Diaz escapes the choke though aand is now working on top with over a minute to work.
Diaz landing punches. Pettis gives up his back and Diaz takes it, but then as they scramle ends up in full mount. He’s punching and Pettis gets to his knees. Diaz takes his back but there’s not enough time for a choke attempt so he opts for control and a few punches to end the round.
Leg kick for Pettis, but he stumbles backwards onto the mat afterwards and has to scramble back up as Diaz presses forward and goes into the clinch.
They break away. Left and lands for Pettis. jab for Pettis nw. Diaz feeling at his eye. Pettis with a punch. Diaz seemingly wilting a little here as Pettis lands punches. Diaz tries to flurry, but gets caught with a counter.
The referee asks for a doctor to come in and check on Diaz’s eye, but he says he’s ok and they quickly restart.
Pettis with a kick and a punch behind it. Diaz into the clinch. Nice right hand for Diaz and a knee to the body. Body punch for Pettis.
Front kick to the body from Diaz and then a right hand. Now Diaz moves to Pettis’ back. Pettis trying for a kimura, but Diaz ends up on top.
they get back upright and Diaz lands a big knee upstairs. Diaz presses Pettis up against the cage. He lands a big elbow.
Diaz lands a straight punch but then Pettis lands several in response. Diaz connects again though and starts to put together some volume. He lands a knee as he goes back to the clinch.
Knee from Pettis upstairs, but then Diaz returns the favor with a bigger one. Punches exchanged. Diaz with a cut above his right eye. Knee for Diaz. Elbow for Pettis. Right hook for Diaz. Elbow for Pettis. More strikes for Diaz to end the round and then Pettis slides down against the cage to take a breather after the horn sounds.
Diaz into the clinch and Pettis going for the uppercut as he gets pressed to the cage. Pettis with punches and a kick. Straight punch for Diaz.
Diaz lands again with a punch. Now a front kick to the body. Right hand for Pettis. Pettis into the clinch, but Diaz gets away.
Diaz with straight punches as Pettis backs up. A big left for Diaz snaps Pettis’ head back. A big knee for Diaz hurts Pettis badly. He lands another one afterwards. Pettis barely hanging on here as he turns his back.
Diaz pours on the offense and takes him down. He takes his back. He’s got half a round to work here as he starts thinking about setting up the rear-naked choke, but Pettis manages to turn into him and ends up on top.
Pettis in Diaz’s full guard now. Diaz with light punches to the head from his back. Diaz trying to set up a submission. Pettis with an elbow and then backs away and stands.
Diaz motions him back down and Pettis obliges. Diaz tries for an armbar. Pettis escapes quickly. Pettis trying to improve position, but it’s Diaz who ends up on top and takes Pettis’ back.
Diaz trying for a rear-naked choke again, but with 10 seconds of the round remaining Pettis again reverses. Diaz looking for a submission in the final seconds.
An entertaining fight as expected here then but despite a three year layoff Diaz got the better of Pettis and had him badly hurt in the final round on his way to a unanimous decision victory (30-27 x2, 29-28).