Many believe lightweight contender Justin Gaethje should have been the man facing Conor McGregor at UFC 246. The American wrestler turned knockout artist has three straight first round wins, including beating Donald Cerrone who ultimately got the call to face ‘Notorious’. On the night McGregor wiped out ‘Cowboy’ in emphatic fashion taking just 40 seconds to do so. Speaking on the Punchlines Podcast, Gaethje says he hopes to get the next shot but not being in attendance at UFC 246 may have harmed his chances.

“For me, I hope knocking people out is my ‘something special,’ because I can’t sell myself, per se, and become a different person on camera and be a different person off camera. It takes a lot of intelligence to be able to do something like that, for one. To be able to keep that act up is going to take a lot of time and energy and a lot of concentration away from what I want to do. I think it could hurt me in the long run, just not wanting to take that route. I could have been (at UFC 246). I could have been front row. I could have made a scene, but maybe I’ll miss an opportunity because I wasn’t there.”

“The Highlight” was one of many criticising McGregor’s choice of opponent in the lead up to UFC 246. Now the event went as expected, Gaethje isn’t letting the Irishman off the hook.

“I think it was an d*ck move that he took it, and that’s just coming from a straight competitor because – he’s coming off of losses, too, and that’s his argument when you say hey you’re going to fight someone coming off losses, but he’s talking about title contender, title contention or title shots, and you can’t fight him (Cerrone).”

Despite calling McGregor fighting Cerrone a “d*ck move” Gaethje believes the fight will have given the former two weight UFC champion the confidence to finally face off against him.

“Ultimately that dude (McGregor) makes his own decisions, and I think he has more confidence now. He needed a win. Yeah, I think he’ll fight me now.” (Transcribed by MMAJunkie)

Should Justin Gaethje be Conor McGregor’s next fight?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.