Anthony Pettis says a matchup against Conor McGregor was in the consideration before he agreed to face-off with Nate Diaz at 241.
During an interview with MMA Fighting at the UFC 241 open workouts, Pettis told reporters that the UFC proposed a potential fight against the Irish former champion.
“First it was McGregor, and I was like let’s do it in Madison Square Garden,” he said. “Something fell off with that and then it popped up Nate and I was just like we’ll see what happens.”
“Then he [Diaz] signed the contract and we’re here,” he said.
Whilst contracts weren’t negotiated or finalized for a fight with Conor McGregor, Anthony Pettis says he was all for the matchup.
“It was just mentioned,” Pettis said. “They’re like at Madison Square Garden. Like f**k yeah!”
Despite the fight never coming to fruition, Pettis is more than happy to take his frustration out on his next opponent Nate Diaz. The two welterweight fighters have held the media spotlight with their trash talking and long-standing beef.
“I’m fighting the best in the world…Nate’s one of the guys,” he said. “He’s definitely a tough dude. Even though me and Nate have our problems, I respect his game.”
Unlike Anthony Pettis, Nate Diaz had the opportunity to fight Conor McGregor. He secured a submission victory over McGregor at UFC 196 in 2016, but lost to him in their next matchup at UFC 202, a majority decision loss that Diaz often disputes.
Does a future fight between Conor McGregor and Anthony Pettis interest you?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/15/2019.