UFC veteran Nate Diaz has stepped up on short notice to fight UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor on March 5th at UFC 196. Diaz was selected by the UFC after lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos pulled out of the fight with McGregor with an injury.
Interestingly, former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis spoke on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani about his fight with Diaz that fell through.
Helwani asked Pettis, “I thought you were supposed to fight Nate in April, what happened to that?”
“I dunno, I guess Nate just stopped answering his phone calls,” Pettis replied. “I had signed the contract and was sitting here thinking I had the date all set and then all of a sudden Joe Silva calls and says that’s no longer the case and that they’re trying to find me another opponent. Edson Barbosa was the only one available, so ya that’s the fight.”
Ariel asked for a confirmation asking, “so you actually signed the contract?”
Pettis said “Yes I signed a physical contract with Nate’s name on it. It just fell through somehow. From what I know, he just stopped answering the phone. I guess he didn’t want the fight.”
One thing is certain that Diaz wanted this fight with McGregor, with his highly censored call out after beating Michael Johnson at UFC on FOX 17 back in December.