UFC 241: Nate Diaz vs. Anthony Pettis Preview and Predictions

Nate Diaz returns to the Octagon after nearly three years to face fellow welterweight Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 on Saturday on Anaheim, California. (Yahoo Sports illustration)

Two of the biggest MMA names in lightweight history will see each other at welterweight this Saturday.

Anthony Pettis and Nate Diaz will finally face off in a match that was years in the making. The fight has the potential to win "Fight of the Night" at UFC 241.

Let's break down each category as we make our predictions for this upcoming welterweight classic.


Both Pettis and Diaz are known for their flashy striking ability. They are two of the top strikers in every division they fought at.

Despite their elite level of striking, the two have very different styles.

Diaz likes to throw punches in bunches. He throws punches at 70% power but he does it with such frequency that it throws opponents off their game.

Diaz's length is also an advantage with his 76-inch reach. He's also the taller fighter and height aids the reach.

The Stockton native also knows how to pick his angles. Though he also loves to absorb shots just to land his own and that might be an issue in this fight.

Pettis on the other hand likes mixing it up on his feet. He also has a penchant for highlight reel finishes.

"Showtime" has knockout power both in his hands and feet. The Duke Roufus protégé can put together smooth combinations in consistent rhythm.

He knows how to close the distance and land just as effective. It's Pettis' powerful kicks that will make a lot of difference at standup.

Diaz has shown he can hang with elite-level strikers such as Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone. 

It's going to be a challenge for Pettis since Diaz seems unfinishable regardles of his knockout loss to Josh Thomson.

Pettis has the advantage with his piercing body kicks which is an untested part of Diaz's defense or lack thereof.

Advantage: Pettis


One thing people don't notice about Pettis is he actually has good ground game. His two wins as lightweight champion were against fighters with good ground game.

He beat them both with a nasty submission.Pettis is very underrated on the ground. 

Diaz is no stranger on the ground however as he thrives from any position once the fight goes there. He needs to espect Pettis’ ground game however.

We need not to emphasize here as it's still Diaz's ground game that stands out in terms of overall level.

Advantage: Diaz


Pettis has proven to be able to last the distance but he doesn't have the same level of cardio of a triathlete such as Diaz.

Diaz has cardio for days. He also knows how to pace himself inside the octagon.

Pettis admitted that he has been lifting more weights and doesn't have to do a lot of cardio at 170 lbs. Despite that, he has enough though to throw in a flashy strike during the latter part of a fight.

A testament to how good Diaz's cardio is his first fight against Conor McGregor. His conditioning was still on point despite zero training prior to the late notice fight.

Pettis will definitely tire first if we will compare his cardio to that of Diaz's

Advantage: Diaz


This fight is completely unpredictable untile that bell rings. Who will have the sharper technique? Who will be more on-point?

Pettis has been more active. Has fought seven fights since Diaz's last fight. He might
 be a little worse for wear compared to a significantly recovered Diaz.

Knowing Diaz, he doesn't care about rust at all. What matters more is that he trained during his time off competition.

We haven't made any technical analysis yet because despite each one's advantage. It's still a toss up as both can pull off finishes in striking and on the ground.

Both can also last three rounds, which will be the maximum number for this fight. But since we have to chose a winner, then we must pick one.

Winner: Pettis via Unanimous Decision

Tune in as Pettis and Diaz face off in the co-main event of UFC 241 at the Honda Center in Anaheim California.