Justin Gaethje Wants To ‘Royally Screw Up’ Khabib vs Tony Ferguson

UFC lightweight contender Justin Gaethje is set to fight Tony Ferguson on May 9th in Florida, at the recently rescheduled UFC 249. ‘El Cucuy’s’ original opponent Khabib Nurmagomedov, found himself stranded in Russia, amid the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

Even after UFC 249 was postponed on April 18th, the UFC decided to stick with Ferguson vs Gaethje, rather than wait for Khabib, who begins Ramadan today. The UFC lightweight champion is expected to be on the sidelines until at least August.

UFC 249 Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson
Image courtesy of the UFC

With the original belt off limits, Gaethje is now scheduled to step in for an interim title fight. If Justin secures the upset victory, it would certainly put a spanner in the works for one of the most eagerly anticipated fights in UFC history, Khabib vs Tony.

“Unless they want the world to end they should probably leave that fight alone,” Gaethje told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto (as transcribed by the South China Morning Post), with a laugh.

“As a fan, I wanna see that fight just as much as anybody. But to put food on my table … I really don’t care about that. I will feel a little bit bad about that because I know how bad people want it. But for me to act like it would bother me, that would be a lie.

“I’m gonna be very happy to royally screw that up.”

Earlier in the year, Gaethje had his sights set on Conor McGregor. Despite the obvious financial awards that come with the name, it’s the official lightweight belt that motivates him now.

“When they wrap that belt around me, it won’t be a destination – it will be a map to the top. It will be nice to have a belt, but for me it won’t me the same. It won’t mean I’m a world champion in the UFC. But yes, when I beat Tony I’m fighting Khabib next because that’s what I’m here for, to try to be the best in the world. When I fight him I want him to try to kill me because I won’t respect him if he doesn’t. That’s what I expect of every athlete I train with.”

Gaethje has not been short of elite level training partners. ‘The Highlight’ has drafted in UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and Beneil Dariush for his fight camp at his Colorado garage unit.

“We’re all isolated in my house, we’re working out together for the next week and a half. I’ve got great training partners here. Drew Dober is getting ready for a fight, Neil Magny – that fool’s always in shape. He can push the pace. I just had a great wrestling practice, I got my ass kicked and it was great.”

Do you think Justin Gaethje can stop the twelve fight winning streak of Tony Fergusson and put the nail in the coffin to the Khabib vs Tony fight?

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