Justin Gaethje believes Conor McGregor has a chance to leave no doubt as to who the true number one contender is for the UFC lightweight gold.
Gaethje has long been calling for a showdown with McGregor. “The Highlight’s” main gripe is that he feels McGregor gets to cherrypick his opponents, which allows him to cut the line for title opportunities. Gaethje, who is riding a three-fight winning streak, believes a bout with McGregor can serve as a true number one contender fight.
Gaethje Says McGregor Can Leave No Doubt
Gaethje spoke to MMAFighting.com‘s Damon Martin and said that if McGregor fights and defeats him, then he’ll undoubtedly deserve another shot at the UFC lightweight gold.
“You know it’s his choice,” Gaethje said. “[Conor McGregor] picks who he fights.
“He knows that if he fights me and beats me, nobody — Khabib [Nurmagomedov], Ali [Abdelaziz], whoever — can’t say much about him earning it or deserving the title shot. But until then, he ain’t going to get it.”
UFC president Dana White wanted to book McGregor against the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson, which is scheduled for April 18. The “Notorious” one doesn’t want to wait for that outcome. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported that early talks are underway for a clash between McGregor and Gaethje. Helwani noted that plans can change, however.
Gaethje is a former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion but he’s fallen just short of getting a shot at UFC gold. That’s due to his finishing losses at the hands of Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier. “The Highlight” was able to get back on track, scoring three straight first-round finishes over James Vick, Edson Barboza, and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
Time will tell whether or not Gaethje ultimately gets to share the Octagon with McGregor. The “Notorious” one’s striking coach, Owen Roddy, recently expressed his interest in seeing the bout.