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Nate Diaz scores unanimous decision victory vs. Anthony Pettis in return at UFC 241

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  • Stipe Miocic celebrates his championship victory by TKO against Daniel Cormier during UFC 241 at Honda Center.1 of 54
  • Stipe Miocic is awarded the championship belt following his TKO victory against Daniel Cormier during UFC 241 at Honda Center.2 of 54
  • Stipe Miocic celebrates his championship victory by TKO against Daniel Cormier during UFC 241 at Honda Center.3 of 54
  • Stipe Miocic pins Daniel Cormier to the cage as he lands punches during UFC 241 at Honda Center.4 of 54
  • Stipe Miocic lands a hit against Daniel Cormier during UFC 241 at Honda Center.5 of 54
  • Daniel Cormier moves in with a hit as Stipe Miocic defends during UFC 241 at Honda Center.6 of 54
  • Stipe Miocic applies a hold against Daniel Cormier during UFC 241 at Honda Center.7 of 54
  • Nate Diaz is declared the winner by decision against Anthony Pettis during UFC 241 at Honda Center.8 of 54
  • Nate Diaz and Anthony Pettis shake hands following their match during UFC 241 at Honda Center.9 of 54
  • Nate Diaz lands a hit against Anthony Pettis during UFC 241 at Honda Center.10 of 54
  • Nate Diaz pins Anthony Pettis to the mat during UFC 241 at Honda Center.11 of 54
  • Nate Diaz lands a hit against Anthony Pettis during UFC 241 at Honda Center.12 of 54
  • Anthony Pettis lands a hit against Nate Diaz during UFC 241 at Honda Center.13 of 54
  • Nate Diaz pins Anthony Pettis to the mat during UFC 241 at Honda Center.14 of 54
  • Paulo Costa lands a hit as Yoel Romero defends during UFC 241 at Honda Center.15 of 54
  • Paulo Costa moves in with a hold against Yoel Romero during UFC 241 at Honda Center.16 of 54
  • Yoel Romero lands a hit against Paulo Costa during UFC 241 at Honda Center.17 of 54
  • Paulo Costa lands a hit against Yoel Romero during UFC 241 at Honda Center.18 of 54
  • Yoel Romero defends against Paulo Costa during UFC 241 at Honda Center.19 of 54
  • Yoel Romero lands a hit against Paulo Costa during UFC 241 at Honda Center.20 of 54
  • Yoel Romero brings down Paulo Costa during UFC 241 at Honda Center.21 of 54
  • Sodiq Yusuff reacts following his TKO victory against Gabriel Benitez during UFC 241 at Honda Center.22 of 54
  • Sodiq Yusuff brings down and lands hits against Gabriel Benitez to win by TKO during UFC 241 at Honda Center.23 of 54
  • Gabriel Benitez lands a hit as Sodiq Yusuff defends during UFC 241 at Honda Center.24 of 54
  • Sodiq Yusuff moves in with a hit as Gabriel Benitez defends during UFC 241 at Honda Center.25 of 54
  • Derek Brunson moves in with a hit as Ian Heinisch defends during UFC 241 at Honda Center.26 of 54
  • Derek Brunson moves in with a hit against Ian Heinisch during UFC 241 at Honda Center.27 of 54
  • Ian Heinisch defends against Derek Brunson during UFC 241 at Honda Center.28 of 54
  • Khama Worthy reacts to his knockout victory against Devonte Smith during UFC 241 at Honda Center.29 of 54
  • Khama Worthy reacts to his knockout victory against Devonte Smith during UFC 241 at Honda Center.30 of 54
  • Khama Worthy lands a hit against Devonte Smith during UFC 241 at Honda Center.31 of 54
  • Cory Sandhegen moves in with a knee hit against Raphael Assuncao during UFC 241 at Honda Center.32 of 54
  • Cory Sandhegen lands a hit against Raphael Assuncao during UFC 241 at Honda Center.33 of 54
  • Cory Sandhegen lands a hit against Raphael Assuncao during UFC 241 at Honda Center.34 of 54
  • Drakkar Klose reacts after being declared the winner against Christos Giagos during UFC 241 at Honda Center.35 of 54
  • Drakkar Klose brings down Christos Giagos during UFC 241 at Honda Center.36 of 54
  • Drakkar Klose with a hit against Christos Giagos during UFC 241 at Honda Center.37 of 54
  • Christos Giagos applies a hold against Drakkar Klose during UFC 241 at Honda Center.38 of 54
  • Drakkar Klose defends against Christos Giagos during UFC 241 at Honda Center.39 of 54
  • Casey Kenney is declared the winner by decision against Manny Bermudez during UFC 241 at Honda Center.40 of 54
  • Casey Kenney applies a hold against Manny Bermudez during UFC 241 at Honda Center.41 of 54
  • Casey Kenney defends against Manny Bermudez during UFC 241 at Honda Center.42 of 54
  • Manny Bermudez pins Casey Kenney to the mat during UFC 241 at Honda Center.43 of 54
  • Hannah Cifers meets with Jodie Esquibel following their match at UFC 241 at Honda Center.44 of 54
  • Hannah Cifers defends against Jodie Esquibel during UFC 241 at Honda Center.45 of 54
  • Hannah Cifers lands a kick against Jodie Esquibel during UFC 241 at Honda Center.46 of 54
  • Hannah Cifers lands an elbow hit against Jodie Esquibel during UFC 241 at Honda Center.47 of 54
  • Sabrina Mazo pins Shana Dobson to the mat during UFC 241 at Honda Center.48 of 54
  • Sabrina Mazo pins Shana Dobson to the cage during UFC 241 at Honda Center.49 of 54
  • Shana Dobson moves in with a hit against Sabrina Mazo during UFC 241 at Honda Center.50 of 54
  • Kyung Ho Kang pins Brandon Davis to the mat during UFC 241 at Honda Center.51 of 54
  • Brandon Davis moves in with a hit against Kyung Ho Kang during UFC 241 at Honda Center.52 of 54
  • Kyung Ho Kang moves in with a hit against Brandon Davis during UFC 241 at Honda Center.53 of 54
  • Kyung Ho Kang moves in with a kick against Brandon Davis during UFC 241 at Honda Center.54 of 54

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Nate Diaz drew ex-champ Anthony Pettis into a grueling, in-close fight that favored him in deep waters.

Pettis managed to survive to the final bell, but Diaz’s offensive output was too much to overcome when the fight went to the scorecards.

The welterweight bout was the UFC 241 co-main event at Honda Center in Anaheim, California, and aired on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.

The final tally was 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 for Diaz, who fought for the first time since a decision loss to Conor McGregor in 2016.

“It’s Nick Diaz army, (expletive),” Diaz said to the cheers of the crowd after his victory.

Diaz explained his long layoff with a diss of his UFC colleagues. But he had praise for one fighter, who just happened to be cageside: Jorge Masvidal.

“The reason I was off is because everybody sucked, and there was nobody to fight,” Diaz said. “With this belt, I want to defend it against … Jorge Masvidal had a good last fight.

“All respect to the man, but there ain’t no gangsters in this game anymore. There ain’t nobody who’s done it right but me and him. I know my man’s a gangster, but he ain’t no West Coast gangster.”

More: Stipe Miocic reclaims heavyweight title with TKO victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 241

Diaz’s performance against former lightweight champ Pettis definitely fit that bill. He immediately walked down Pettis (22-8 MMA, 9-7 UFC) and kept the pressure high. Pettis greeted him with a counter right that found its mark. Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC) traded in close before pushing into the clinch, hoping to wear down Pettis.

Diaz racked up more points with a takedown and ground-and-pound. When Pettis tried to escape, Diaz took his back and closed the round in back control.

Diaz quickly pushed for a takedown in the second, and Pettis got to work on the counter. Diaz ate a hard right hand early and seemed to stall as he checked his left eye. Pettis gambled on a Kimura hold and allowed Diaz to take top position. When he returned to his feet, a knee to the head was waiting.

Moving back to the clinch, Diaz landed several elbows and began to turn up the tempo. Pettis began to fade against the cage as he traded short, hard shots with Diaz.

Pettis tried to keep Diaz away in the final frame, firing combos of punches as attacks continued to push him backward. Diaz mixed in power shots and landed knees that sent Pettis to the canvas. Diaz took the back and angled for the choke.

But in an impressive reversal, Pettis managed to spin out of back control and into guard. He might have stayed there had Diaz not baited him into guard, and eventually Diaz found the reversal that but him back in position for a submission.

Pettis reversed again and survived to the final bell. There was no question, however, who had won the day.

Article source: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~/605741768/0/usatoday-newstopstories~Nate-Diaz-scores-unanimous-decision-victory-vs-Anthony-Pettis-in-return-at-UFC/

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