McGregor Next In Line Ahead Of Gaethje
Despite being on a three-fight winning streak and the No. 3 lightweight contender, Justin Gaethje won’t be next in line for a title shot.
Instead, Conor McGregor will get the next shot at the lightweight strap according to UFC president Dana White. That is despite the fact that he lost his last lightweight outing in his title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
To make matters worse, McGregor’s return at UFC 246 on January 18 against Donald Cerrone won’t even be contested at lightweight, but rather welterweight. Regardless, White has stated the Irishman will be next in line. His reasoning is that Gaethje has turned down a number of fights.
“C’mon guys. Look what Conor has done over the last however many years,” White told ESPN. “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.
“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.”
Gaethje last defeated Cerrone in the UFC Vancouver headliner back in September. It’s unclear what fights he has been offered since or if White is referring to previous fights he may have turned down.
Regardless, it seems like the winner of the McGregor vs. Cerrone matchup will challenge the winner of the upcoming UFC 249 lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. White calls it a 155-pound fight without the weight cut.
“One hundred percent. That’s exactly what it is. It’s a 155-pound fight that they’re not cutting weight for,” White added. “And realistically when Conor said I want to do this fight at 170 and then gave me the reasoning he wanted to do it, I was like, there’s no way Cowboy is going to argue with that. Why cut the weight if they both agreed they don’t want to cut weight?”
Gaethje hasn’t commented on White’s claims as of yet but it should be interesting to hear what “The Highlight” has to say about all this.