ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported that Gaethje was the frontrunner for a potential showdown with McGregor in July. Gaethje’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, denied the report. Kavanagh is saying that the fight has indeed been talked about.
Kavanagh Confirms McGregor vs. Gaethje Talked About
Kavanagh spoke to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani on an Instagram live chat. During the interview, the SBG Ireland head coach said that Gaethje is “right up there” in terms of fight talks for McGregor (h/t MMAFighting.com).
“That was certainly…every time there is a, “There’s going to be a fight in three months’ time,’ I think you would be shocked by some of the names that come across the table. I just kinda go at this stage, ‘Yeah, okay…you’re kickboxing who?’…at this stage there’s just so many things that come across the table. I just say, ‘Look, guys, that’s your world.’ Audie, Paradigm and Conor are so good at that, at planning, strategy and negotiating, that I just say, ‘Yeah, give me a date when it comes.’ For me, I’m just focused that are booked, that are coming up. Obviously, Pedro was the big one for the gym there recently that didn’t go ahead. He had a world title shot coming up, so my concern was with that – fights that I know are coming,” said Kavanagh.
“But yeah, [the Justin Gaethje fight in July] was one of the ones that was being talked about – that was right up there.”
Gaethje has been reported as a top candidate to replace Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 249 on April 18. Nurmagomedov was scheduled to put his UFC lightweight title on the line against Tony Ferguson. “The Eagle” is stuck in Russia due to a travel ban and will not compete later this month. Ferguson vs. Gaethje has not been signed as of this writing.