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Pettis: 'Burnt out' Conor McGregor is 'looking for a lifeline' by focusing on training

The former UFC lightweight champion can understand that Conor McGregor wants to concentrate on his preparation, coming off a loss.

Conor McGregor has been pulled from UFC 200's main event, because he refused to fly out to Las Vegas to promote his fight and would rather concentrate on his training. He will miss out on the opportunity to avenge his loss to Nate Diaz and loses his multi-million dollar payday. Wise move or not, it is an understandable one, says former 155-pound champion Anthony Pettis -- at least to some extent.

"(I can understand him) a little bit," Pettis told MMA Fighting at a press event in Las Vegas on Thursday. "I think he might be burnt out maybe, he's had a lot of fights back-to-back. He has done a world tour before with the Aldo thing, same thing with this guy RDA. But three months out from the fight, that's a long time. So it's not like they're requiring unrealistic things, it's all normal stuff. All of us athletes, all of us fighters we do it. We plan for it.

"Coming off a loss, I know how he feels. He wants to spend his time training. I think this right here is what made Conor McGregor Conor McGregor, but at the same his fight skills back it up. He can talk well, he had to train his butt of to get where he's at. And coming off a loss he's looking for that lifeline again, and the closest lifeline to him is his coaches, that's what you turn to first. Coaches are gonna say, 'forget all this, let's get back to what got you there. And that's what he's thinking about, forget all this. That's what I would think, that's what I was told when I lost my belt. Forget about everything else and let's get back to the gym. Let's get back to the basics and get to what got you to that position. And that was just hard work in the gym."

Pettis faces Edson Barboza on the main card of UC 197 this Saturday. A replacement for McGregor, who was scheduled to face Nate Diaz in a rematch at UFC 200, is yet to be found.