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Report: Nate Diaz tried to save UFC 196 with Anthony Pettis fight, but UFC said NAH

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

I would have paid for that (just sayin').

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) turned down a last-minute offer from lightweight fan favorite Nate Diaz, who wanted to step into the UFC 196 pay-per-view (PPV) main event and throw hands with former 155-pound titleholder Anthony Pettis (sans silly-ass suit).

MMA Fighting reports:

UFC considered the matchup, and it was a viable option as of Tuesday morning, but the promotion decided for undisclosed reasons to ultimately go in another direction.

If Diaz vs. Pettis was put together, the event would have remained on pay-per-view. Those two could still end up fighting each other in the coming months.

Pettis wanted his Octagon return -- and a "real fight" -- as soon as possible, so I'm not sure what the hold up was.

The only reason the promotion is in this mess is because its original headliners, Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum, both withdrew from the UFC 196 headliner on short notice. As a result, the card has been moved to FOX Sports 1 with a brand-new main event.

More on that drama here.