Pettis: UFC Offered Me McGregor Before Diaz
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently announced an intriguing Welterweight showdown pitting former Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis against Nate Diaz, set to go down as the co-main event for UFC 241 on Aug. 17, 2019 in Anaheim, California.
It’s a fight years in the making, as the respective camps simply do not like one another. For Anthony, it’s his chance to finally put hands on Nate, something he says should’ve happened by now.
“It’s a perfect fight for me. You know me and Nate. We have had beef and drama for a long time, so this is something that was supposed to happen a long time ago and it’s finally happening,” Pettis said on a recent edition of Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.
“I don’t even remember where it started, what event. I was the champion, but we have always had drama. And every time we saw each other it’s like something was going to happen,” he said. “It was just one of those things that he may have been jealous that I was the champ, he wanted a shot at me.”
“Then he got his McGregor fight and went MIA. That chapter never closed in my life, so for me it was something that had to happen.”
Pettis at one point coached the Ultimate Fighter (TUF) opposite Nate’s teammate Gilbert Melendez. But despite their beef, “Showtime” always found it odd that Nate wouldn’t say a word to him until the cameras were around.
“I feel Nate always did that. Wait for the cameras to show up and then he’d yap at the mouth. I coached against Gilbert Melendez the whole Ultimate Fighter season and not one word, didn’t say anything,” he added.
“Then the cameras are around and he has something to say. It’s just time to back it up, everything he’s been talking, all the drama he’s been causing at UFC events; let’s settle it now inside the Octagon, exactly how I want it,” said Pettis. “I am excited for this fight, 100-percent motivated because I want to knock this guy out.”
According to Pettis, however, Nate wasn’t the first opponent he was offered, as he revealed that UFC president Dana White offered him a showdown against Conor McGregor for the promotion’s return to New York City later this year.
“There were some big names thrown my way. Conor McGregor was thrown my way from Dana in August but then that didn’t happen. So I just pulled back, hung out and was training and then Nate Diaz popped up. It’s perfect.”
While a fight against Conor obviously brings a big payday with it, Pettis says a fight against Nate excites him more just for the sheer disdain he has for the Stockton slugger.
“Diaz, 100 percent. I just don’t like the guy. That’s just how it is, I am not that dude, but this is just one guy I do not like,” he said, while revealing he will start his training camp as early as next week out of pure eagerness and desire to get prepared to inflict damage on Nate.
“I am going straight to work, I can’t wait to hurt this guy. This is personal fight for me, I am going to work right away. No weight cut, simply training for a fight.”
August 17 can’t get here soon enough.