Days after the official statement from UFC that the former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (22-8) will be returning to the Octagon in a fight against Nate Diaz (19-11) at the upcoming UFC 241, the 32-years-old American stated that initially he was offered a clash with the Irish Conor Mcgregor.
“Showtime” and the 34-years-old Diaz will be facing each other on August 17 in a welterweight fight.
Here’s what Pettis had to say on his personal beef with Nate:
“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.”
— UFC (@ufc) May 14, 2019
“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.”
The former UFC lightweight champion continued by saying that before Nate Diaz, he was offered to fight “The Notorious”.
“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.”
Quit hiding 👊🏼 pic.twitter.com/lVR1kjDR0X
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) March 25, 2019
When asked if he preferred a fight with Conor or Diaz, he somewhat surprisingly leaned towards the Diaz brother:
“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.”
Pettis last fought at UFC Fight Night 148 in March, defeating Stephen Thompson via KO. Diaz, on the other hand, hasn’t been inside the cage since August 2016, when he lost his rematch with Conor Mcgregor.