When Anthony Pettis received the call from Ultimate Fighting Championship matchmaker Sean Shelby asking if he wanted to fight Nate Diaz in the co-main event slot at UFC 241, Pettis responded simply with "send the contract."
For Pettis, the decision to fight this particular opponent was a no-brainer. Today, Pettis told ESPN's Ariel Helwani that the animosity between he and Diaz has been long-running. "You know me and Nate, we've had beef and drama for a long time."
With the August bout taking place at 170 pounds, the division in which Pettis has already found early success against top welterweight Stephen Thompson, "Showtime" feels that the stars are aligning for him to notch another big-name victory on his belt.
"It's just something that was supposed to happen a long time ago and it's finally happening and at a comfortable weight class for both of us, so it's gonna be a scrap," said Pettis.
Looking back over the years on just where the friction between these two fighters began, Pettis recalls a few incidents wherein Diaz withheld commentary while in private, but opted to antagonize freely once in public, specifically when the cameras were on. "I think Nate is a tough dude but he just turns on for the cameras," Pettis told Helwani.
Ultimately, Pettis is not only excited to engage in another high profile fight, but also eager to close the door on an old rivalry. "It's time to back it up. Everything he's been talking, all the stuff he's been saying. Alright, let's settle it now."
As for what Pettis expects from his scrap with Diaz? "I'm excited for this fight. [I'm] 100 percent motivated. I wanna knock this guy out."
UFC 241, headlined by a heavyweight championship match between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic, takes place on August 17 in Anaheim, California.