After close to three years away from the UFC, Nate Diaz is primed to finally make his Octagon return at UFC 241. According to ESPN, Diaz and Anthony Pettis have verbally agreed to a showdown at 170 pounds in the undercard of what is expected to Daniel Cormier defending the heavyweight crown against Stipe Miocic.
Anthony Pettis is coming off somewhat of a career resurgence in his welterweight debut, knocking out former championship contender Stephen Thompson.
Pettis made the jump to welterweight after an up-and-down UFC career, winning the lightweight title once in 2013. In the last three years, Pettis lost to top featherweight Max Holloway and lightweight contenders Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson.
Diaz was on the books to return at UFC 230 last year against Poirier before his opponent pulled out a month before their fight with an injury. Poirier, of course, went on to wreck Max Holloway en route to winning the interim lightweight title at UFC 236. Diaz hasn’t fought since he lost in his highly-anticipated rematch with Conor McGregor in August 2016.
His matchup coming together against Pettis is a deviation from his fights with McGregor, where he used a profanity-laced tirade to build interest in the showdown. It also shows Diaz might just be serious about getting back into title contention with a chance to prove himself after such a long layoff.