The announcement of who’s name would be selected to step in on short notice to fight UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor was highly anticipated once it was known lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos pulled out of the fight.
Former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis put his name into the pot of opponents that the UFC was stirring around but “Showtime” says he didn’t get his hopes up too high.
Pettis appeared on the MMA Hour on Monday to talk about campaigning for a fight against “The Notorious.”
“I spoke to Dana, Joe Silva, I mean it was all up to him (McGregor) honestly. They said RDA pulled out and they are not going to make him fight anybody, they are going to let him choose who he wants to fight and I figured he wouldn’t pick me. So, I was a little excited about it, but, there was easier opponents and easier guys for him to fight.”
Pettis says that Diaz is not an easy fight for McGregor, but did say that there were bigger challenges that would have been tougher fights in the lightweight division for McGregor.
“Diaz is a tough fight at 170. Going from 45 to 170, that’s a huge jump right there. I wouldn’t say, you know, top 10 lightweights, no one is easy, but there are quicker routes and easier ways for him to move. I wouldn’t say it’s an easy fight for him, but, as far as fighting me or Cowboy who just came off a camp, Diaz was just sitting there for the picking.”
Pettis admits being let down but said that he felt it was a long shot that he would get selected by McGregor to be his opponent.
Anthony Pettis can now focus on his official opponent as he is set to fight Edson Barbosa at UFC 197 on April 23rd in Las Vegas, Nevada.