Stephen Thompson is rooting for Anthony Pettis in his upcoming fight with Nate Diaz.
Pettis welcomes Diaz back to the Octagon at UFC 241 on August 17 in Anaheim, California. “Showtime” is coming off a sensational knockout win over Thompson at UFC Nashville earlier this year. It was notably the first time “Wonderboy” had been knocked out in his entire professional career.
Despite that, Thompson holds no grudges towards Pettis and will be supporting him against Diaz in what he sees as a very interesting matchup.
“Yeah man, I think that’s a very interesting fight,” Thompson told Submission Radio. “You got an explosive guy versus kind of like a marathon guy. Nate Diaz being the marathoner and Anthony Pettis being the more explosive guy, the sprinter. Anthony, he’s had some gas tank problems in the past. I think he might have fixed that. But he’s super fast and tricky. He’s caught some really good jiu-jitsu guys. He’s really good everywhere.
“So is Nate. Nate takes a lot of damage but he’s very hard because he’s very long. He keeps his opponents at bay with his striking as you saw with Conor McGregor. Conor McGregor had a hard time catching him with his hands because he was so long. And he’s just relentless. Him and his brother take shots and they just keep coming forward.
“But Anthony Pettis is fast. I’m going for Anthony just because I’ve been a fan of him for a while and he was my last loss, so I would like to see him do well. We were cool after the fight too, he’s such a cool dude. And we come from a similar background so I would like to see that style do well. It’s going to be fun. Hopefully, Anthony Pettis has a good gas tank and I think he can out-trick Nate Diaz.”
Diaz will be competing for the first time in nearly three years. He last fought McGregor at UFC 202 back in August 2016, losing via majority decision. Pettis, on the other hand, has fought three times since last summer.
Many question how the long layoff will affect Diaz when he returns and Thompson is one of them.
“It’s been a while since he’s fought,” Thompson added. “I think it’s been a few years. I think his last might have been Conor? Wow. So it’s been a while. Is Nate the same guy? We don’t know. So I’m going with my man Pettis.”