Justin Gaethje Believes a Clash with Conor McGregor May Be on the Horizon
By Ross Markey
Conor McGregor returned to the win-column in spectacular fashion last weekend at UFC 246 – via a forty-second demolition of promotion veteran, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. With a victory in tow, perennial lightweight contender, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje now believes a bout between himself and the Dublin is almost a formality.
The former WSOF lightweight best has won three in a row over the last since his April 2018 defeat to Dustin Poirier – handing knockout defeats to James Vick, Edson Barboza, and the aforementioned Donald Cerrone. The Arizonian has campaigned tirelessly for a shot at 155-pound gold, ultimately to no avail off the back of his impressive streak.
Gaethje has also been summoned to a face-to-face meeting with UFC president, Dana White, in the coming weeks to discuss his next step with the promotion.
With Gaethje calling for a match up with McGregor in the near future, these claims follow coach John Kavanagh’s hope for a meeting between ‘The Notorious’ one and Gaethje in a lightweight title-eliminator – contested at 170 pounds. Speaking on a recent episode the Punchline Podcast, Gaethje spoke of the UFC 246 main event between McGregor and Cerrone, and how Saturday’s victory for the Dubliner will aid his cause for a meeting before the summer.
“Ultimately, that dude (Conor McGregor) makes his own decisions, and I think he has more confidence now. He needed a win,” Gaethje said. “So yeah, I think he’ll fight me now. I’m not necessarily being overlooked. I’m in the conversation.
“I lost two times not that long ago (to Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez), and unfortunately that set me back and that allows these people to have an argument or a case when it comes to the argument or it comes to this circumstance. So, it does suck to compete as hard as I do and to put as much as I do into it and to maybe have the situation come along where I do get passed over because of money or politics. But, at the end of the day, if you do keep winning, I’m gonna fight again and if I win, if I knock somebody out again, they can’t deny me.”
For Gaethje, it seems the possibility of a match-up against McGregor may be a likely scenario. Before his forty-second victory over ‘Cowboy’ at UFC 246 – McGregor mentioned to Oscar Willis in an interview with The Mac Life, that he may make a “quick turnaround” and fight Gaethje before the summer. A timeline for the potential bout is likely falling somewhere before the summer – with McGregor planning a “season” spanning three Octagon walks, at least. A March date has been floated around by the 31-year-old Crumlin born counter-striker before and after his win over ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone – which would end a six-month break for Gaethje.
The Trevor Wittman trained knockout-artist also spoke of his decision against attending UFC 246 on Saturday previous, unlike both Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman – and how the failure to do so may cost him a potential pairing in the long run.
“Ultimately, I think it could hurt me in the long run, just not wanting to take that route. I could have been there. I could have been front row. I could have made a scene, but I don’t know. And, maybe I’ll miss an opportunity because I wasn’t there.”