Coach: Nate Diaz’ Hate ‘Will Cost Him’ Against Anthony Pettis

Nate Diaz and Anthony Pettis
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Unlike many mixed martial arts (MMA) fans, Duke Roufus is confident that Nate Diaz will fight Anthony Pettis at August’s UFC 241.

That’s because the Stockton, California, native sought “Showtime” out for the fight. While Pettis has always wanted to meet Diaz in the cage, it wasn’t until recently when Diaz’ camp approached Roufus about a potential match-up.

After that, things took off rather quickly according to Roufus:

“Diaz approached us, and we all approached the UFC together to make this happen,” Roufus said Wednesday on Instagram live (h/t MMA Junkie). “I’m very confident the fight’s going to happen, and I’m very confident how much Nate Diaz hates Anthony Pettis that he wants to make that scrap happen.”

Trash Talk Won’t Work

A Diaz/Pettis fight is a virtual MMA unicorn. Until recently, it was something thought about but never taken seriously. The two camps do have genuine beef. Pettis defeated Gilbert Melendez in a lightweight title fight at UFC 181 back in December of 2014 and the camps reportedly got into an altercation during the weekend of UFC 167 in 2013.

Still, Roufus believes the more emotional this fight gets, the better the end result will be for his fighter.

“Let’s do a little history of Anthony Pettis: Guys who trash talk in Anthony’s face, he’s whipped their asses,” Roufus said. “One of those bad beatings was Donald Cerrone, a lot of pre-fight trash talk. How did that end? Most recently Michael Chiesa, how did that fight end? Anthony fairs very well when people want to test his moxy, and he’s very motivated.”

“He’s been motivated for this fight for years, and it’s going to be a barnburner,” Roufus said. “Not an easy fight, but we didn’t get into this fight to hand-pick bums and beat the can of the week. Everyone counted Anthony out when he fought ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, and that’s what’s up. Not only did beat ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, he was the first one to knock him out in 87 fights.”

UFC 241 takes place August 17 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The main card will be available via stream on ESPN+ pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.

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