UFC lightweight contender Justin Gaethje wants his next fight to either be against Conor McGregor or Tony Ferguson.
Gaethje is on a two-fight winning streak following his emphatic knockout win over Edson Barboza last month. While he would love to face Khabib Nurmagomedov next, “The Highlight” understands the champion will have another commitment in new interim lightweight title-holder
That is why Gaethje wants a high-caliber opponent that will put him in a position to challenge the winner of that fight.
“I believe the winner of tonight, deservedly so, gets a shot at Khabib, and I want to put myself in position to fight the winner of that fight,” Gaethje said backstage prior to UFC 236 (via MMA Junkie). “I think Tony (Ferguson) and Conor (McGregor) do that for me.”
Ferguson, of course, is dealing with personal issues, but recently revealed that he passed a medical evaluation.
“Tony is dealing with whatever he has to deal with,” Gaethje said. “I expect him to take as much time as he needs to come back 100 percent. I know he can come back right now. He’s a warrior, there’s no doubt about it.”
As for McGregor, Gaethje is not sure what the situation is with him.
“Who (expletive) knows what’s happening with Conor? But they either take him out of the rankings if he’s retired, or they keep him in the rankings and he has to fight somebody. If that’s me, cool. If that’s not me, cool, but there has to be some type of structure to what’s going on here. We can’t just keep floating around.”
“I want to know what my path is, and you can’t do that by saying I’m retired and being in the rankings and being ranked ahead of me. If you’re ranked ahead of me, you’re fighting for the title. He doesn’t deserve a title shot right now, so therefore it’s me or its Tony, and he has to pick one of us to fight.”
That remains to be seen, however. McGregor is still the UFC’s biggest star, so any semblance of order or adherence to the rankings can essentially be thrown out when he’s involved.
Gaethje would also tweet at McGregor during the event.
Any Justin Gaethje fight is always entertaining, but it would certainly be even more so if it included one of McGregor or Ferguson.