Justin Gaethje shares how Conor McGregor can earn his Khabib Nurmagomedov rematch
- Justin Gaethje has a plan in mind for Conor McGregor to secure the top contender spot
- 'The Highlight' shows a way for the Irishman to warrant the rematch he wants so badly
Ever since Conor McGregor made his return to the Octagon in January this year, there has been speculation about whether he will fight for the Lightweight belt next.
The former Champion made his comeback with a bang against Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone at UFC 246, knocking him out in 40 seconds flat. But many people raised questions whether that alone makes McGregor eligible to contest for the Championship next, especially when Justin Gaethje waits with a three-win streak.
In an interview with MMA Fighting, Gaethje himself clarified what should clear McGregor for a Lightweight title shot later this year.
Gaethje says how McGregor can earn his title shot
The Lightweight title will be put on the line next month when reigning Champ Khabib Nurmagomedov will fight it out with Tony Ferguson for the defense of his belt. Being placed at #4 in the weight rankings, Gaethje knows his chances of fighting the winner of this bout are slim, which is why he wants a showdown with McGregor first.
Gaethje believes a fight with 'The Notorious' will determine who is the top contender, and therefore who can challenge the winner of Khabib vs. Ferguson fight for a chance at the title next.
If Gaethje wins, all is well and good. But if McGregor goes on to defeat him, that would cement the Irishman's place in the division as the next top challenger. Not even Khabib himself can object to the possibility of the long-anticipated rematch if that happens.
Gaethje thinks it is a good enough reason for McGregor to agree to the fight.
"You know it's his choice. [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."
Gaethje never really wanted to fight McGregor in particular. But he has been looking for a Khabib rematch since his comeback, and Gaethje is not willing to let him cut the line.
"I haven’t necessarily wanted to fight this guy for a while. He said he was going to fight me last year and I was coming off two losses and I was making my way back up the ranks. That was what I was doing... Now I’m in a great position to fight for a title and I have him saying he wants to jump ahead. Now I want to fight him cause it’s the right time. It’s the right fight to make.”Published 25 Mar 2020, 15:35 IST