After talk of a brewing rivalry, Anthony Pettis' contempt for Nate Diaz seemingly isn't mutual after all.
Instead, Nate Diaz has expressed a respect for Pettis' resume, explaining his reason for accepting the fight to begin with. “I think it was just the best fight," Diaz explained on ESPN's 'Ariel Helwani's MMA Show'. "He’s coming off a good win and he’s one of the top guys, one of the better guys in the division and one of the most entertaining fighters in the UFC. I like that, he’s a guy that I would actually enjoy watching over the rest of these fighters."
In Diaz's mind, that trait isn't particularly common anymore. Far from it in fact. "It’s getting boring, the fight game so I’m like if I’m gonna take part in any fights, I would like it to be a fight that’s interesting not only to me, to the fight fan because if I’m a fight fan, I wanna see an interesting fight. I don’t want to see a boring fight."
After dismissing any personal issue with Pettis on his end at least, Diaz expressed the opposite. “Anthony’s been in the game for awhile. I’m not into anybody who doesn’t put the time in, put the work in and put some good fights on. It’s good to find a worthy opponent," he told Helwani. “He’s got some wins in the UFC and he’s done a good job. He’s got some losses too but he’s got some entertaining s**t that he’s done and I’m cool with that.”
Diaz's UFC 241 fight with Pettis takes place on August 17th at the Honda Center. The event is currently headlined by Daniel Cormier's rematch with Stipe Miocic and also features the anticipated contender clash between Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa.
For Helwani's full interview with Diaz, click here.