In the first episode of ‘Embedded’ for UFC 241, Anthony Pettis was heard saying how the fight between him and Nate Diaz this weekend is “personal.” He even vowed to “kill this motherf—r” at the end of the clip.
These statements apparently hold more meaning than just being hype words. According to coach Duke Roufus, there had been previous encounters between Pettis and both the Diaz brothers.
“For years Nate has just attacked him,” Roufus said Monday on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show (transcript by Low Kick MMA). “Not only verbally, but even in a nightclub, they tried to jump him, him and Nick. It gets to a point where stuff just boils over.
“I get the perspective of where Anthony is coming from. To me, Anthony reminds me a lot of Oscar De La Hoya or “Sugar” Ray Leonard, he’s that star fighter, he’s got that charisma.”
Roufus went on to compare Pettis’ situation to when De La Hoya had his own rifts with Fernando Vargas, or when Leonard had his beef with Roberto Duran. For him, these “bullying” tactics only bring the best out of “Showtime.”
“A lot of guys just – it’s not even professional, it’s more, these guys are jealous, envy of him,” he said. “It causes a weird energy. Like Fernando Vargas tried to bully De La Hoya, De La Hoya knocked him out. Like Duran tried to do twice against “Sugar” Ray Leonard, “Sugar” Ray Leonard put it on Duran the second time.
“Like Mayorga tried to do to Oscar De La Hoya. So many guys try to bully Anthony, I love it, because it brings out the best in Anthony. Looking forward to it, sometimes fights are personal, and those are the fun ones if you ask me.”
In 2013, Pettis recounted an altercation he had with one of Nick Diaz’s friends at a Las Vegas nightclub. But according to him, there was no confrontation with Diaz, adding, “Twitter blew it up to be a little more than it was.”
Whatever personal issues he has with Nate, Pettis will get to settle it inside the Octagon this Saturday at UFC 241 at the Honda Center in Anaheim.