Before a bout with Diaz came together, another opponent Pettis may have faced was former two division UFC champion Conor McGregor.
“First it was McGregor, and I was like, ‘Let’s do it in Madison Square Garden,’” Pettis said at the UFC 241 open workouts (via Dave Doyle & Dave Mandel of MMA Junkie). “Something fell off with that and then it popped up Nate, and I was just like we’ll see what happens. And we signed that contract, and we’re here.”
McGregor hasn’t fought since a loss to UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 and no Octagon return has been announced at this time.
Pettis is happy to be fighting Diaz, mainly because he believes that they will just come forward and go after each other.
“I’m not that dude that needs to talk and sell fights,” Pettis said. “Our styles sell fights. He bleeds, he comes straightforward, I bleed, I come straight forward. That’s all that matters.”
UFC 241 takes place on Saturday, August 17 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.