A three-year layoff culminated with a return of marquee fighter Nate Diaz at UFC 241 in Anaheim Sunday night.
Traditionally a lightweight, Diaz hasn't fought there since 2015, and hadn't fought anyone besides Conor McGregor since then, either. That all changed when he was tasked with a welterweight fight with a former 155 pound champion in Anthony "Showtime" Pettis.
Pettis found early success in round one with leg kicks, but Diaz recognized it and dragged Pettis to the ground. Along the way, Diaz's strikes and submission attempts stole the round for him. Pettis seemed to be restricted with an injured ankle quickly, and the leg kicks were eliminated from his barrage. That's all Diaz needed to pour on the pressure.
A series of huge knees almost ended the fight for Diaz, but instead led to an exchange of scrambles.The fight went to the scorecard, with Diaz emerging victorious.
After the fight, Diaz stated that he left the UFC for three years because everyone sucked, but he wanted to fight another "gangster" in Jorge Masvidal. An excited Masvidal could be seen cheering on from the crowd, full of celebrities and fighters.