Yes, he is. Now you don’t have to read any further. But that’s exactly what happens when you’re a fighter like Justin Gaethje. You become such an intimidating prospect that it’s bad for business. Nobody wants to fight you unless they have to. Just look at Luis Ortiz’s boxing career – rematch with Deontay Wilder aside.
Gaethje is currently riding a three-fight winning streak. He’s had first-round knockout wins over Jason Vick, Edson Barboza, and Donald Cerrone. Now he believes he deserves either a title shot or an eliminator with Conor McGregor. At the moment the UFC isn’t interested in either.
It means that Gaethje is currently in limbo. Who knows who McGregor’s next opponent will be? The fact is that the Irishman will do whatever’s best for business. Unfortunately fighting a meat grinder like Gaethje might not be that. But there’s no doubt in the American’s mind what the Notorious is doing.
No doubt about it. https://t.co/4ol5bgyhQc
— Justin Gaethje 🇺🇸 (@Justin_Gaethje) February 21, 2020
As you can see from the tweet above, there’s no doubt in Gaethje’s mind about the current situation. He is very active on social media and replied to a fan’s tweet. The fan is clearly a master of the obvious and desperate for attention because they tweeted at Gaethje that McGregor is ducking him. Well duh. Anyway, this was enough to get Gaethje on board. He replied:
“No doubt about it.”
What makes Gaethje so dangerous these days? His fights are always savage. But lately, he’s turned a corner in waiting for the opportunity to unleash his knockout power. Before, he used to wade into a brawl. That’s not good for your longevity. More technical opponents will also catch you on the way in.
However, one man that McGregor could fight next is Khabib Nurmagamedov. The UFC lightweight champion will fight Tony Ferguson in April. If he doesn’t, we’re going to move to Tibet to become monks to try and extinguish the pain caused by the MMA gods. Khabib and McGregor have a toxic rivalry but the Irishman is desperate for a rematch. It’s all about legacy at this point.
Khabib and his management are playing very hard to get and have emphatically denied that it’s going to happen. But now AKA head coach Javier Mendez has broken ranks. He’s responsible for Khabib’s training in the US and says that realistically they’ll fight who the UFC put in front of him. He told MMA Junkie:
“Let’s not be naive and think that we’re in control. We’re not in control. We can control what we do, but the organization controls who you fight and who you don’t fight.
In short, the rematch is more likely to happen than not. The only way it doesn’t is if Khabib decides to retire or loses to Ferguson when they fight. Even if he loses, then a rematch with McGregor would also make sense as a title eliminator. There’s no point in trying to play MMA math because there are just too many variables.
But that’s why we love this incredible sport because it keeps us guessing. Unless you’re Justin Gaethje. We don’t think he’s going to be very happy whatever happens.