clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Dana White defends Conor McGregor title shot, shuts down criticism from Justin Gaethje

New, comments
UFC 229 Khabib v McGregor: Press Conference Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, has promised the next lightweight title shot to former 155-pound kingpin, Conor McGregor, if the power-punching Irishman can defeat Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 next month in Las Vegas.

Fellow top contender, Justin Gaethje, called that decision a “crock of shit.”

Probably because McGregor (21-4) has just one victory at lightweight, which came against Eddie Alvarez at the UFC 205 pay-per-view (PPV) event back in late 2016. “Notorious” was also finished in last year’s title fight opposite current 155-pound kingpin, Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Be impressed anyway!

“C’mon guys, look what Conor’s done over the last however many years,” White told ESPN. “Then he loses to Khabib in a fight that was – when you talk about bad blood – it’s like the next level of bad blood. Gaethje was on his way up, too. We’ve offered Gaethje a lot of fights that Gaethje hasn’t taken, either. So Conor’s in line next for (a title) fight if he beats ‘Cowboy.’”

White’s “bad blood” explanation is promoter-speak for, “McGregor is the biggest PPV draw in the history of MMA so of course we’re going to milk that cash cow every time he moos.” That’s assuming Cerrone sticks to the script and goes down at some point on Jan. 18.

The sports books have something to say about that.

As for Gaethje (21-2), his last victory was a technical knockout finish over Cerrone last September, which was good enough to land him at No. 4 in the lightweight rankings, one spot behind McGregor. “The Highlight” remains unbooked as of this writing.