UFC lightweight contender Justin Gaethje revealed he was offered a fight with Tony Ferguson, only to turn it down.
A Ferguson vs. Gaethje fight is a dream matchup for many in the combat sports world, which the latter has also been open to in the past. It could have even happened last month at UFC 238 in Chicago. The problem was Gaethje was only given four weeks notice for that fight, which he deemed insufficient time to prepare for “El Cucuy.”
In the end, Donald Cerrone was given the call, and would later lose to “El Cucuy” via TKO (doctor stoppage). However, Gaethje is still open to a fight with Ferguson, as well as Khabib Nurmagomedov in the future:
“They called me to fight Tony [but] it was four weeks notice,” Justin Gaethje told Aaron Bronsteter in a recent interview. “I can’t do that. I can’t go in there compromised. It’s a huge opportunity to miss out on but I asked them if they could push it until Saturday [UFC 239] and they couldn’t do it. ‘Cowboy’ got the bid.
“But yeah, I would love to fight Tony. I want to fight the Russian. I got to get through Tony, or through one of those guys.”
Ferguson would be the ideal next opponent for Gaethje. However, “The Highlight” feels the former interim champion is deserving of getting the next title shot:
“I think Tony earned his shot at the title,” Gaethje added. “I think he would be foolish to fight me or anybody before he fought the winner of Khabib and Poirier. So yeah, that’s my answer.”
Gaethje, Ferguson Toughest Opponents For Khabib
Many feel the toughest opponents for the undefeated Nurmagomedov would be one of Ferguson or Gaethje.
Gaethje absolutely agrees with that as he believes both of them present a lot of problems for “The Eagle”:
“I do agree with that,” Gaethje responded. “Absolutely. Tony’s dangerous on his feet and he’s probably the most dangerous from his back. And physically, as far as slashing you up with elbows.
“So it’s something Khabib would definitely have to worry about. Can’t just go in there and sit on top like he does and be boring. He’s going to have to work and Tony might cut him up when he’s on the bottom. And I can stop takedowns. I’ve been stopping takedowns my whole life and I hit hard as f*ck so we’ll see.”
Do you want to see Ferguson vs. Gaethje next? Or only after Ferguson challenges for the lightweight title?