Gaethje Just Wants A Little Bit Of Respect
Justin Gaethje didn’t find out he was competing against Tony Ferguson on May 9 until later on.
Gaethje was initially scheduled to face Ferguson on short notice for the interim lightweight title at UFC 249 this past weekend. However, the event was postponed earlier this month with “The Highlight” only finding out about the cancelation on the internet.
UFC president Dana White, however, planned on moving ahead with a May 9 card which will now go ahead as UFC 249. That event is set to be headlined by the originally-planned interim lightweight title fight between Ferguson and Gaethje.
However, Gaethje says he only found out about the rescheduled matchup with Ferguson on the internet as well as nobody from the promotion told him about it.
“I saw that Dana [White] had said that he was having this card May 9 and I was the main event, and I was like, ‘what the hell?'” Gaethje told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. “To be honest with you, I was a little bit upset because I’ve always told them I don’t want to fight on short training camps.
“And I don’t blame them, but they had the assumption that because I was gonna do April 18, I would be fine to do it May 9. But, those are totally different circumstances for me and so I really wasn’t happy about it.”
In the end, the reward of a world title is too big to turn down even on short notice. That said, Gaethje would have still preferred to have received notice of his own.
“But you go back to the drawing board,” he added. “And risk, risk, reward. For a world title, you can fight on a day’s notice. It doesn’t matter. … But yeah, I was a little upset. For one, they didn’t even ask me. They just kind of announced it and it kind of puts pressure on us. Just a little bit of respect would be great.”
UFC 249 takes place May 9 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.