Justin Gaethje Argues His Case To Fight Conor McGregor Next
As we’ve said many times in the last couple of weeks that with Khabib Nurmagomedov likely to fight Dustin Poirier in a UFC lightweight unification bout at UFC 242 and Tony Ferguson facing ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC 238, the obvious opponent for Conor McGregor’s return to the Octagon, is Justin Gaethje. Particularly as the Irish man has set his sights on getting a rematch with Khabib. To do that, he needs to beat at least one top 155lbs contender. And the only one left without a fight currently, is Gaethje.
And Gaethje is fully aware of that fact. Speaking to ESPN, the 30 year again called for a fight with the former UFC two division champion. Adding that if he doesn’t want to fight him, he should be removed from the rankings.
“I’m ranked number five right now. There are four guys and the champion in front of me. I’m looking for one of those guys, and I’m looking for a big fight this summer. I don’t want to fight guys ranked behind me. I’ve got two knockouts in a row. James Vick was ranked behind me. I feel I deserve someone in front of me.
“Looking at the landscape, Conor McGregor is number three right now. If it’s not him, there’s not an open fight right now. So, that’s the fight I want. He’s number three. If he’s not going to fight, take him out of the rankings. I’d be cool with that, too, and we can move on from there.”
Despite the fight making sense on paper, Gaethje is far from knowing if that fight happens.
“I don’t know, but as far as I’m concerned, he’s in the rankings so he should be available. I’m just sitting in my house in Colorado. I have no idea what the hell is going on with him. But he’s number three. He’s the only guy ranked ahead of me that doesn’t have a fight. He needs a fight to get back to the title shot. That’s me.
“I don’t know what else to say about it. Unless he just does not want to fight me, if he wants to be that picky about it. I can’t control that. I’ll worry about things I can control. But I would definitely love to f*** him up. Every time I get a chance to f*** someone up who talks a lot of s***, it makes it more fun for me.”
Interestingly, Gaethje said that the UFC had offered him the Tony Ferguson fight but as he has stated many times in the past, he doesn’t accept short term fights.
“Yeah, that’s not how I do things, man. They called me and wanted me to do it in four weeks. My coach [Trevor Wittman] was going to be out of town for two of those weeks. The way that I fight, man, I’d be a fool to work as hard as I have my whole life to get here, and compromise myself taking a fight like that.
“I said, ‘Let’s do July 6th instead,’ and obviously we know what happened. I told them that was too fast, but I feel like things are going to move pretty fast in this division now. We’ll see how things play out.”
‘The Highlight’ was also asked how he sees the Khabib vs Poirier, Ferguson vs ‘Cowboy’ and Antony Pettis vs Nate Diaz fights going.
“I don’t give Poirier much of a shot. Maybe a 16 percent shot. I think Khabib is going to take him down immediately, or create some kind of scramble immediately. I don’t think Poirier stops his takedowns.
“Tony beats him (‘Cowboy’) up. Tony’s better. Tony is just better than ‘Cowboy’.
“Probably Pettis winning. It’s been a long time since Nate fought; that doesn’t help. Pettis has a lot of confidence right now off that last win [against Stephen Thompson]. He’s probably training hard every day now that he’s got this roll going.”
Do you think Conor McGregor should fight Justin Gaethje next?