Justin Gaethje has made no secret of the fact that he wants to face current lightweight title holder Conor McGregor.
As far as he's concerned, his time as coach on The Ultimate Fighter and the subsequent bout against rival coach Eddie Alvarez is the perfect platform to try and entice the notoriously choosy champ into agreeing to a fight. And while he was generally positive regarding McGregor's recent efforts against Floyd Mayweather during a TUF media lunch, that doesn't mean he didn't see a weakness in his potential future opponent.
“The reason he can’t fight through when he gets super tired is he’s never grappled,” Gaethje said (via MMA Fighting). “You have to learn how to fight through when it sucks and it’s really hard. You have to be in that position over and over and over, to be able to perform in that mindset. The fact that he’s never wrestled or grappled, it doesn’t help when he gets super tired and starts questioning himself.”
While McGregor has obviously trained extensively in both wrestling and jiu jitsu, he doesn't have a background competing in either sport like Gaethje, who has wrestled since he was 4 and was a NCAA Division I All-American. Justin isn't the only fighter to note McGregor's propensity for gassing out ... McGregor himself wondered aloud during the Mayweather post-event press conference why he kept hitting patches of fatigue during his fights. It shouldn't be surprised that Gaethje interprets it as the lack of a tool he just so happens to possess.
But regardless of how Mayweather-McGregor ended, Gaethje feels comfortable as far as the reputation of mixed martial arts goes.
“If he goes in there and gets knocked out, yeah MMA takes a hit," he said. "But it’s not gonna hurt us because at the end of the day all we have to say is ‘Let’s have a real fight.’ In a real fight, in the street, when it comes to life and death, an MMA fighter will win 90 percent of the time against just a boxer. I’m content and comfortable with that.”