BetOnline opened Nate Diaz as a -120 favorite for his UFC 241 showdown against Anthony “Showtime” Pettis on Friday afternoon. However, the offshore betting shop quickly adjusted its opening odds.
In less than an hour, BetOnline shifted Pettis to the -120 favorite. Then the book moved to -145 before settling at -150. Diaz is now the +130 underdog.
The promotion announced the welterweight fight this past Saturday. Diaz will be making his Octagon return after nearly three years of inactivity. The Stockton, California, product was booked to face Dustin Poirier at UFC 230 in 2018, but Poirier had to pull out of the contest due to an injury.
The 34-year-old Diaz famously handed Conor McGregor his first UFC loss when he submitted him in the second round of their UFC 196 scrap. Diaz had accepted the fight on less than two weeks of notice when Rafael dos Anjos withdrew from his scheduled bout vs. McGregor.
In the rematch at UFC 202, McGregor won a majority decision (48-47, 47-47, 48-47) in the 2016 Fight of the Year. Diaz hasn’t fought since then.
Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC) has been a lightweight for most of his career, but both fights against McGregor were at 170 pounds. He went 2-2 during a four-fight run at welterweight from 2010-2011.
Diaz won Season 5 of The Ultimate Fighter. He owns notable victories over the likes of McGregor, Michael Johnson, Takanori Gomi, Melvin Guillard, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, Jim Miller and Gray Maynard.
Pettis (22-8 MMA, 9-7 UFC) is the former lightweight champion who will be fighting at welterweight for only the second time in his storied career. He made his 170-pound debut his last time out, earning a second-round knockout win over Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.
Pettis and Diaz have been enemies for years. There was an incident between the two fighters after Pettis defeated Diaz’s teammate, Gilbert Melendez, at UFC 188 in 2015.
In fact, when asked Monday on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show if he would’ve preferred a fight with McGregor instead of Diaz, Pettis said, “Diaz. We’ve just always had this drama. He might have been jealous I was the champ. He wanted his shot at me. He got his McGregor fight and then went MIA. That chapter never closed in my life, so to me, this is something that had to happen.”
In other UFC news on Friday, former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley withdrew from his UFC Minneapolis headlining bout against “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler due to a hand injury. The show is on June 29 and the promotion is actively searching for a replacement to face Lawler.
Woodley defeated Lawler by first-round KO at UFC 201 in Atlanta to win the welterweight belt. His reign as champ lasted until earlier this year when he was soundly beaten by Kamaru Usman at UFC 235.
Darren Till and Santiago Ponzinibbio, among others, have already volunteered to face Lawler.