Justin Gaethje On Conor McGregor: He Doesn’t Hold The Cards Now
Justin Gaethje has made his opinion on Conor McGregor’s behaviour clear after the former champion bombarded him with aggressive tweets earlier this week.
Gaethje put on a career highlight performance at UFC 249, when he defeated Tony Ferguson to secure the interim lightweight belt. A unification fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov is set to follow later in the year but McGregor appears intent on ruining that.
The Irishman has been ruthless on social media since Saturday night’s event and has taken aim at most of his 155lbs rivals. However, his key targets were Khabib, Gaethje and long time nemesis, Ali Abdelaziz.
In an interview with ESPN, Gaethje put an end to McGregor’s aspirations when he confirmed that he’s focused solely on becoming the undisputed UFC champion.
“He’s losing his clout. I don’t mean with the general public, but with fighters, he’s losing so much respect in the game, which he probably doesn’t care. But to someone like me and even him, I would assume that matters a little bit. He doesn’t hold the cards right now. I put myself in a great position. I asked for a say in my destiny, and I showed up. Now I can pick between Khabib and Conor right now. If I wanted to fight Conor right now, I could. Believe me. Why wouldn’t [UFC president] Dana White put that together? But that’s not the fight I want.
“I have nothing to say to him. You don’t get to fight me next, unless there are crazy circumstances, where Khabib cannot fight. Then we’ll fight. That’s the only way. Other than that, you don’t get a say. Dana White laughed whenever they told him Conor said he was fighting me. He said, ‘No, Gaethje is fighting Khabib.’ You’re still worth all the money in the game, that’s true. But you’re losing clout when it comes to inside the game.”
Although a fight with McGregor would be lucrative for ‘The Highlight’, it’s an unnecessary risk that could lose him the position he has worked so hard to achieve. A shot at the UFC lightweight title.
“That’s the fight I want. That’s the fight I earned and deserve. It’s the only fight out there for me right now.”
Gaethje has refused to give in to McGregor’s demands this time around but he remains keen to silence ‘The Notorious’ further down the line.
“I’m here to make money. When I beat Khabib, I will fight Conor because I’m trying to cash in. Whether he fights or not — do I think he should fight? Absolutely. But there are so many jokes you could make about his next fight. I don’t know who he’d fight. One of the main requirements is you have to be coming off a loss.”
While the tables may have turned now, McGregor isn’t buying into it.
With Khabib and Gaethje set to unify the UFC lightweight title around September, the obvious fight to make in the stacked 155lbs division is McGregor vs Ferguson. With the winners likely to face each other.
What do you think is next for Conor McGregor?