Justin Gaethje has had to sit tight and wait patiently. The former WSOF lightweight champion has had a stressful time lately as he’s tried to figure out his future plans. He wants a title shot but he’s unlikely to get one in the near future. With this in mind, he wants to fight Conor McGregor.
The Notorious fought in January, crushing Donald Cerrone. Incidentally, Gaethje ran through ‘Cowboy’ too. Now he wants a title eliminator against the Irishman. But it’s not easy to make a fight with the most lucrative opponent in MMA. However, now it looks like he may finally get his way.
Owen Roddy is a man who knows McGregor well. In short, they’ve been together since the beginning of his MMA journey. The SBG Charlestown head coach has coached McGregor’s striking from the start. Now he’s confirmed that Gaethje will be next in line.
McGregor has spoken at length about how he intends to treat 2020 as a season. The plan is to fight three times. A clash with Gaethje makes total sense because a victory would see the winner emerge as the No. 1 contender. Nobody could dispute him then. Roddy believes that McGregor will fight in July.
“Most definitely. That’s the plan hopefully,” Roddy said in a recent interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. “Bring the UFC back to life as well with all these shows being canceled and stuff like that, I think a fight on July 11 would bring the UFC back to life and get everybody back on track. So my fingers are crossed and I’m sure the rest of the world fingers are crossed for that fight.”
For Roddy, Gaethje would be the perfect opponent. ‘The Highlight’ is an exciting fighter and potentially a favorite against McGregor – at least in the eyes of diehard fans. SBG Ireland head coach Joh Kavanagh agrees. Only time will tell if it happens, but all the signs point towards McGregor v Gaethje.
“Anyone to be honest but you know, maybe Gaethje,” Roddy said. “There is a lot of talk about Gaethje. I mean, he’s an exciting fighter, Gaethje. I would like to see it, I’m sure you’d like to see it, and I’m sure the rest of the world would like to see it. So yeah, potentially that, but to be honest, anyone. I know Conor is raring to go and everyone will be raring to go by the time July comes around.”
If this fight goes down then it will be a clash of styles. Both men like to rely on their striking. However, Gaethje is an accomplished wrestler even if we haven’t seen it in the UFC. He’s extremely violent but after a couple of KO losses, he has bounced back to become more measured and clinical.
That’s wise because you cannot swing wildly against McGregor. Say what you like about him as a person but there are few fighters in the UFC better with their hands. That straight left is like a sniper rifle. It would be a fascinating match-up.