UFC 279: Anthony Pettis says Nate Diaz deserves 'respect' for taking Khamzat Chimaev fight

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Anthony Pettis has explained why he respects former rival Nate Diaz for taking a dangerous fight against Khamzat Chimaev.

There are many things that have been written and said about Nate Diaz over the years but above all else, we think it’s safe to say that he’s pretty much as real as it gets in mixed martial arts.

The Stockton king rarely takes the conventional route, doesn’t abide by the rules and generally seeks out trouble at every available turn. In many ways, that’s why fans are so infatuated with him.

It doesn’t really matter whether he wins or loses because along the way we’re all probably going to have a good time. Case in point: his battle against Leon Edwards last summer.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and the same is true for Diaz’s UFC tenure as he prepares for the final fight on his UFC deal later this year.

He’ll be squaring off with Khamzat Chimaev in the main event of UFC 279, with the contest being set to take place on September 10. The popular opinion is that Khamzat will tear through the veteran but regardless of whether or not that happens, Diaz’s former foe Anthony Pettis believes there should be a lot of respect put on the 37-year-old’s name.

“I respect Diaz though, now that we’ve fought, obviously we had our beef coming up but I respect him. He’s a fighter’s fighter, he’s not afraid to take a risk and he always says it, there’s not real fighters left in MMA. I fought everybody, I came off a loss to Ferguson and fought Wonderboy. That doesn’t really happen, there are more businessmen in MMA now. There’s more politics involved.

“Diaz is like yo, give me the next best guy in line. I respect that.”

“I don’t know if they’re giving him that [Khamzat], I think he picked that fight, honestly.”

What happened when Diaz fought Pettis?

After three years away from the Octagon, Nate Diaz returned at UFC 241 in August 2019 to take on Anthony Pettis.

In what proved to be a triumphant performance from the returning star, Diaz outclassed Pettis over three rounds to earn a unanimous decision win – as well as a date with Jorge Masvidal at Madison Square Garden.

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