Morning Report: Anthony Pettis wants Nate Diaz before superfight with Jose Aldo

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis has plenty of plans when he returns from rehabbing his injured knee. Scheduled for surgery Dec. 12 in Los Angeles, CA, Pettis hopes to be ready to compete by midyear 2014.

"The doctors said six to eight months so I'm hoping six months," Pettis told UFC Tonight. "I want to get back by summertime for hopefully a July fight."

After being heavily critical of Pettis' continuing injury woes, Nate Diaz has put himself squarely in the champ's sights.

"Nate Diaz has been talking so much and in his last fight, he actually looked pretty decent, but harder to judge against Gray Maynard. I hope Nate works his way up so we can fight."

"Nate's been talking for a while. Even after his last fight, saying 'this is the No. 1 and No. 2 lightweights in the world.' That's taking a shot directly at me. That belt's in my front room. It's there for a reason."

Diaz caught wind of Pettis' statement and responded shortly thereafter:

With title shots here today, gone tomorrow, a Pettis-Diaz matchup isn't too farfetched. Assuming that fight goes according to plan, Pettis says he still has unfinished business with featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Pettis was previously slated to face Aldo for the 145 pound strap at UFC 163 in August, but withdrew from the bout after suffering a torn meniscus.

"Jose Aldo, he has his hands full with Ricardo Lamas. Ricardo Lamas is no easy fight. He's shown he's the No. 1 contender. He fought Erik Koch, I'm a big fan of Erik Koch, I train with him all the time so I know how good Erik Koch is. For Ricardo to do that to Erik, he's going to give Aldo a run for his money. Hopefully Aldo comes out of that and we've got a super fight.

"I want to fight one more time, hopefully in July. That might set us up for an end of the year super fight. 145 king, 155 king. Who knows? Hopefully all these fights pan out."

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

Jones-Teixeira booked, again. UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will face Glover Teixeira Mar. 15, 2014 at UFC 171 in Dallas, TX.

Basic mistakes. Anderson Silva says he's corrected simple things in his striking that cost him his title to Chris Weidman. "It's going to be a tough fight and it won't last too long if it stays standing."

Chat Wrap. Luke Thomas tackles a UFC Fight Night 33 preview, Ben Askren talk, WSOF 7, Invicta FC 7 and more in this week's live chat.

Struve progress. Heavyweight Stefan Struve is showing signs of progress in recovering from a leaking aortic valve and an enlarged heart.

Wishful thinking. Roy Jones. Jr. says he's returning to boxing later this month to knock the rust off in preparation of an eventual match with Anderson Silva. "I want to be ready for Anderson Silva in case he beats [Chris] Weidman. Silva has made it clear that if he wins, he wants me next."

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MEDIA STEW

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Nick Newell and The Anatomy of Perfection.

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Thai prison fights.

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The U.S. Army cuts a promo.

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Pat Barry talks UFC Fight Night 33.

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Being the 'ref cam promotion' could be an interesting niche.

John Thoo vs. Benedict at KSL Ultimate Beatdown 13.

Patrick (Juggernaut) vs. Azmil (Grazio).

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Update on Cat Zingano.

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Random action:

Frederich Naumann vs. Dallas Jakobi at EFC 22.

Magomed Magomedov vs. Yuri Maia at M-1 Challenge 44.

Jeremy Collins vs. Ben Sergent at Bluegrass Brawl 10. (Just skip to about 0:55)

Carina Damm vs. Roberta "Marreta" at MMA Super Heroes 2. (skip to 7:30)

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Bonus: Josh Barnett just hucking some kid off a stage.

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TWEETS

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Internet matchmaker.

...

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A lot of Connor McGregor.

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Sounding good.

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No news on Shane del Rosario.

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Getting closer.

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Stepping in against Kawajiri.

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Multifaceted.

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Glad to hear.

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The Silva fight?

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Dec. 4 2013)

Zach Makovsky vs. Scott Jorgensen at UFC on FOX 9

Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Sean Soriano at UFC Fight Night 34

Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira at UFC 171

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Hoss.Boss.

The Problem: The Ultimate Fighter Finale or Perception?

There's been a lot of talk lately about what is and is not "UFC caliber" and I agree that this Saturday night did not meet my typical expectations of a UFC production. Part of this was the format and style through which they presented it with the commercials, interviews, previews, and a hundred other points that stretched an otherwise reasonable broadcast into an extended infomercial with fights in between. The other part was my expectations for TUF competitor's skill level was too high.

With the UFC reaching out into more shallow divisions (let's not pretend that the flyweight, bantamweight, or women's bantamweight division are all that deep; it's not for lack of skill [mostly] but rather just not enough competitors yet) and using TUF to 'discover' talent, we end up with a largely lower-level cast than the early days when TUF found the best of the best. The problem is not with TUF, in my opinion, but in a failure from us, the fans, to realize that the purpose of The Ultimate Fighter has changed.
...

Check out the rest of the post here.

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Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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