Justin Gaethje doesn’t appear to be giving up on a fight with Conor McGregor.
Gaethje has long campaigned to face McGregor next as he believes it’s the fight to make while Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson collide for the lightweight title.
UFC president Dana White has other ideas, though, as he has maintained the Irishman will face the winner of Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson next. But as far as “The Highlight” is concerned, he is deserving of the next shot and doesn’t see the need to face anyone other than McGregor if it’s not a title fight.
However, he is not entirely ruling out another opponent provided he is guaranteed the next crack at the belt:
“I think I have to look at the big picture whenever I think about it,” Gaethje told MMA Fighting. “I think me waiting to fight the winner of Khabib-Tony isn’t realistic. I think I will have to fight again.
“I think me and Conor need to fight each other to figure out the No. 1 contender. Outside of that, if I need to fight someone else to assure myself of the No. 1 contender’s spot and get the winner of that fight, I’ll do that. As long as that’s a sure thing.”
Many feel McGregor is not deserving of the next title shot given he has only defeated Donald Cerrone — in a welterweight matchup in January — since getting dominated by Nurmagomedov in their title fight back in 2018.
Ultimately money talks, but Gaethje feels nobody would question the former two-weight champion facing Nurmagomedov again if he went through him first:
“You know it’s his choice,” Gaethje said. “[Conor McGregor] picks who he fights.
“He knows that if he fights me and beats me, nobody — Khabib [Nurmagomedov], Ali [Abdelaziz], whoever — can’t say much about him earning it or deserving the title shot. But until then, he ain’t going to get it.”
Of course, if McGregor does skip over him or ends up facing somebody else, Gaethje won’t be losing that much sleep either.
“So much logistics when it comes to making a fight with that guy,” Gaethje added. “It’s a process. If he doesn’t make a choice, I just wait and fight Khabib.”
Do you agree with Gaethje?