UFC on FOX 3: Nate Diaz vs Anthony Pettis Should Determine Next Title Contender

Mike HodgesCorrespondent IMay 7, 2012

Courtesy of MMAMania.com
Courtesy of MMAMania.com

After a few years of struggling to find consistency in both the lightweight and welterweight division, Nate Diaz proved he now belongs among the elite fighters at 155 pounds.

Diaz earned a dominant victory over Jim Miller this past weekend at UFC on FOX 3 and his third consecutive victory in his last five bouts, leading some fans to believe he is next in line to receive a title shot.

While Diaz's performance was certainly impressive enough to convince fans of his potential in the lightweight division, it was wasn't necessarily enough to earn him a title shot yet.

Diaz is obviously talented and his recent wins over Takanori Gomi, Donald Cerrone and Miller are evident that he can be a threat to either Benson Henderson or Frankie Edgar. However, there is still one challenger left who some feel should deserve a title opportunity especially since he currently owns a victory over the champion: Anthony Pettis.

With Henderson and Edgar expected to meet sometime this fall and Diaz waiting on the winner, it won't be until early-mid 2013 until the Stockton, Calif. native steps back into the Octagon. That would leave Pettis open as a valuable opponent and another top name for either competitor to earn a victory over in order to cement their status as a top contender.

Plus, Pettis is already making his claim as the No. 1 contender at 155 pounds and called out Diaz during the post-fight show on FUEL TV.

Stylistically, this could be one of the most exciting bouts of the year. 

The lightweight division is currently stagnant and a possible bout between Pettis and Diaz would officially determine the next title contender. And with no other significant bout surfacing momentarily, this matchup makes perfect sense and the UFC shouldn't waste any time in booking it.