Nate Diaz is back in the driver’s seat following his massive UFC 241 return.
The ultra-popular fan favorite came back from three years out of action to outlast Anthony Pettis (watch highlights here) in the co-main event of last night’s (Sat., August 17, 2019) hyped pay-per-view event from Anaheim, California.
After the win, the Stockton, Calif.-based slugger called out rising star Jorge Masvidal for a potentially huge fight. Indeed, “Gamebred” has hinted he’d immediately sign on to fight Diaz ‘in a heartbeat’ if offered it. But for now, Diaz is deservedly basking in the glory of his successful return. Speaking up at the UFC 241 post-fight press conference, Diaz revealed he got right back into the swing of things:
“It felt like just where I left off. And I just didn’t really pay much attention except for getting the job done.”
Diaz’ Different UFC 241 Gameplan
Diaz then claimed he had planned on actually beating Pettis differently than he did. But when he got in there, it simply turned into a grinding brawl he won with his effective clinch work:
“I planned on kicking him in his face, but it just kind of went how it went. I didn’t even work on any of that clinch stuff, I was just like, ‘I’m either going to do all this stuff I was drilling and working on. Or I’m just going to get in a full-on fight with him and add that s*** to it.”
Prepared For Three Hard Rounds
Diaz was then asked if he believed he nearly had Pettis out in the third. He responded that he did, but was unable to pour on his full finishing ability after admittedly tiring early:
“Yeah, I thought it was the beginning of the end, for sure. But I just went in there, I warmed up in the back really good. And I was going hard, and then I kept warm when I went out. And then I started fighting because I know it was a three five-minute round fight and my last couple of fights were five five-minute rounds.
“So I want to go in there like my first round was my third or fourth round. I went in and first minute in, from the intensity and how long I was going, I was already tired. So I didn’t have the full juice to ease up and full-on take him out. I feel like that was the way I had to approach a three-round fight.”
Reason For Calling Out Gamebred
Finally, Diaz opened up about just why he called out Masvidal for a fight. His stance was that the longtime veteran is a battle-tested fighter who is still at the top of the game. Those are the fights he’s looking for, not those against whomever the UFC is currently hyping:
“Just because you guys recognize who’s the best of the best in this game, and it’s not who they’re saying it is. It’s who I’m saying it is. It’s the guys who’ve been in here forever and are still on top of the game.”
What’s next for Nate Diaz following his victorious UFC 241 comeback?