White Explains Why McGregor, Not Gaethje, Would Be Next for Khabib

It didn’t take long for Dana White to be questioned about his logic behind stating Conor McGregor would be next in line for a title shot at Khabib Nurmagomedov should he defeat Donald Cerrone at UFC 246.

Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Conor McGregor decisively at UFC 229 to cement himself as the king of the lightweight division. The bout was mostly one-sided and McGregor has not won a fight since 2016, but neither of those facts have dissuaded Dana White from avowing that should McGregor defeat Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 246 that he would get the rematch against Nurmagomedov he’s been lobbying for. Justin Gaethje has taken issue with this proclamation from White, as have many fans. When asked about this backlash, Dana White explained why McGregor would be deserving of a rematch against Nurmagomedov in his eyes.

 “Come on, guys. Look at what Conor’s done over the last however many years, and then he loses to Khabib, in a fight that was….when you talk about bad blood, it’s like next level of bad blood,” White told ESPN before turning his attention to Justin Gaethje. “And Gaethje was on his way up, too. We’ve offered Gaethje a lot of fights that Gaethje hasn’t taken, either. So Conor is in line next for this fight if he beats Cowboy.”

But it wasn’t just the fact that Justin Gaethje is on a three-fight winning streak (all finishes) while McGregor is winless in three years that has caused some unrest on this subject, but it’s the fact that the fight isn’t even taking place in the lightweight division. White would then explain why the fight is happening at welterweight and not lightweight and why it’s still relevant to the lightweight title picture.

“It’s a 155-pound fight that they’re not cutting weight for,” White reasoned. “And realistically, when Conor said, ‘I want to do this fight at 170’ and gave me the reasoning that he wanted to do it, I was like, ‘Yeah, there’s no way Cowboy’s gonna argue with that, right? Why cut the weight if they both agree that they don’t wanna cut weight?’”

UFC 246 takes place January 18 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event will be headlined by Conor McGregor’s bout against Donald Cerrone. As for Justin Gaethje, he currently does not have a fight booked.

What’s your take on Dana White’s logic as to why Conor McGregor would get a title shot against Khabib Nurmagomedov over Justin Gaethje if he defeats Donald Cerrone?