ANAHEIM, Calif. — The UFC 241 co-headliner between Nate Diaz and Anthony Pettis promises to be, quite literally, a bloody good time.

And while the welterweight fight between two of the sport’s most popular competitors should be a memorable affair, according to Pettis, there was almost a bigger fight made.

Pettis (22-8 MMA, 9-7 UFC), the former UFC and WEC lightweight champion, was offered a bout with former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor before the Diaz fight came about, Pettis explained on Wednesday.

“First it was McGregor, and I was like, ‘Let’s do it in Madison Square Garden,’” Pettis told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at UFC 241 open workouts from Honda Center. “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.”

Pettis, of course, has long had a reputation for delivering the goods in the cage. He’s earned a bonus in each of his past four fights win or lose: He got “Performance of the Night” in wins over Michael Chiesa and Stephen Thompson, and “Fight of the Night” in losses to Tony Ferguson and Dustin Poirier.

And while McGregor would have been a bigger spotlight, Diaz could mean yet another bonus, and that’s okay with him.

“He’s a fan favorite fighter,” Pettis said. “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.”

And Pettis knows that fans know this, too, and that’s why they’re excited for this fight.

“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.”

For more from Pettis, watch the video above.

UFC 241 takes place Saturday at Honda Center. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.

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