Conor McGregor wants to fight Justin Gaethje. He’s made that very clear on Twitter. The lightweight title race is blown wide open after ‘The Highlight’ defeated Tony Ferguson to win the UFC interim lightweight title. Now ‘The Notorious’ wants a piece of the action while Khabib Nurmagamedov is stuck in Russia.
However, Gaethje isn’t interested. Either that or he wants a lot of money. The American says that he will fight Khabib next not McGregor. Of course, as interim champion, it makes sense that he wants to unify the titles and become the undisputed king of the lightweight division.
But Khabib is currently observing Ramadan in a country with closed borders. Furthermore, his father is suffering from serious pneumonia so there is more on his mind than fighting right now. That’s totally understandable. However, long story short, it could open the door to McGregor, even if Gaethje says otherwise.
According to Gaethje, McGregor is losing his clout. This is true because the UFC is less reliant on him under the terms of their deal with ESPN. They don’t need a single individual to sell pay-per-views on the network as they did in the old days with Fox.
“He’s losing his clout,” Gaethje told Brett Okamoto on Friday. “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.”
Gaethje insists it’s Khabib time. This makes sense, but let’s be real, McGregor is definitely an enticing and more lucrative option. There is the potential that a Khabib fight won’t be possible until the end of the year. In which case, a clash with McGregor would happen. Gaethje said:
“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.”
According to the new interim champion, he’s here to make money. After beating Khabib, he wants to fight McGregor. While he looked extraordinary against Khabib and may even push him close in the odds, the Russian is still unbeaten. Nobody has figured him out yet. Would he be crazy not to take the McGregor fight? Arguably, the Irishman is just as beatable, if not more so.
“I’m here to make money,” Gaethje said. “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.”
Despite not relying on McGregor for pay-per-view buys, the UFC would surely like to see him come back during this time where they’re almost exclusively the only major live sports league on the planet. McGregor would guarantee eyes. If they can get him onto Fight Island then it would be massive