Before he was slated to face Nate Diaz at UFC 241 this weekend, Anthony Pettis says Conor McGregor’s name was floated as his next potential opponent.
Coming off a stunning knockout win over two-time title contender Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in his welterweight debut, Pettis was riding high while awaiting word on his next opponent in the UFC.
According to the former lightweight champion, McGregor was a name that was brought up to him by the UFC for the upcoming card in Madison Square Garden in New York but the proposed fight never came to fruition.
“First it was McGregor and I was like let’s do it in Madison Square Garden,” Pettis revealed on Wednesday during the UFC 241 open workouts. “Something fell off with that and then it popped up Nate and I was just like we’ll see what happens.
“Then he signed the contract and we’re here.”
Pettis says discussions about the fight with McGregor never went as far as contracts being issued but the former two-division champion’s name was definitely on the short list of possibilities for his next opponent.
“It was just mentioned,” Pettis said about fighting McGregor. “They’re like at Madison Square Garden. Like f—k yeah.”
Unfortunately the McGregor fight didn’t happen, but Pettis wasn’t upset whatsoever that he got Diaz instead.
Pettis wouldn’t be opposed to the McGregor fight in the future but he was more than happy to settle a long standing grudge against Diaz in a co-main event showdown that will surely be a crowd pleasing affair on Saturday night.
“It doesn’t really matter. I’m fighting the best in the world,” Pettis said when asked if he would still like to face McGregor. “Nate’s one of the guys. He’s definitely a tough dude. Even though me and Nate have our problems, I respect his game.
“He’s a fan favorite fighter. He’s going to come and try to fight me. He’s not going to try holding me down for 15 minutes looking to sneak over a decision so I respect that about him.”