So far Conor McGregor has only fought once in 2020. However, it’s very likely that we’ll see an announcement by the end of April. That’s because Khabib Nurmagamedov fights Tony Ferguson next month. Don’t even mention the coronavirus because we don’t want to think about it.
However, McGregor really wants another shot at Khabib. But he will probably need to take another fight first with Justin Gaethje the frontrunner. Gaethje is desperate for a title shot or a fight with McGregor. He might finally be in luck. Of course, Tony Ferguson could scupper everything.
If that fight does happen then Khabib thinks it could go either way. Who do you think would win?
Take the Fight
Team Khabib are insistent that McGregor must fight Gaethje to get a title shot. In short, that’s the quickest way to a title shot for the former champion. First of all, Gaethje and Khabib share the same manager in Ali Abdelaziz so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. In sum, he told ESPN that this is the way it has to play. He said:
“If Khabib wins on April 18, Conor McGregor is not getting a title shot — simple. “The only way Conor McGregor can fight for a title is if he beats someone like Justin Gaethje. If he were to do that, it would be hard to deny him.”
“The reason why I don’t think he’s fought Justin Gaethje is I think out of everybody in the UFC, Justin Gaethje takes people to a different place. Many people break. And we’ve seen Conor McGregor break before. Justin Gaethje is a nightmare matchup for him.”
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) March 10, 2020
However, the champion himself genuinely wouldn’t know who to back in that fight. Khabib says that the fight would be so close because both men are so good on the feet. In short, it’s the closest he’s come to paying McGregor respect for a long time. But to be fair to the lightweight king, he’s not petty.
“Justin Gaethje and Conor, it’s a hard question. My opinion, I want Justin Gaethje, but I think 50/50. I think you guys think 50/50, too. Because it’s going to be stand-up fight, Justin is good, Conor is good on the standup, and I think it’s going to be 50/50.
“Justin Gaethje is one of the best lightweights in the world, of course,” he added. “Anyone in the top of the lightweight division is going to be hard. You have to believe this. You have to believe you can become champion one day. If not, why do you train? I respect his mind, I respect how he thinks, and I respect he want to show his skill, and he want to challenge himself. You have to.”
One man who would like to see McGregor fight The Highlight is John Kavanagh. The Irishman is McGregor’s respected head coach and the top MMA trainer in Ireland. In a recent interview with respected UK combat sports journalist Gareth Davies, Kavanagh admitted he wants the Gaethje fight next. He said:
“Top of the list for me would be Justin Gaethje. Justin really believes in his striking ability and his power. I think there would be great exchanges and a lot of forward pressure from Justin. Conor thrives under forward pressure. That, maybe, in the summer would be … that’s what I’d like to see.”
“I’m just waiting for the call. I hope they match him sooner rather than later. Who it’s going to be, I don’t know … you know the same names I know.”