While UFC President Dana White has yet to make an official announcement on the future of the lightweight title, all signs point to Khabib Nurmagomedov vacating his strap and riding off into the sunset after retiring from competition last October.
That means the winner of the Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier fight at UFC 257 next month in Abu Dhabi could very well produce the new champion, which is why top contender Justin Gaethje wants to call dibs on the next lightweight title shot.
“I’m number one so of course I want to fight for that fucking belt, that’s why I’m here,” Gaethje told The Schmo. “Poirier and McGregor are fighting soon so I want to fight the winner of that. I wholeheartedly believe you should be coming off a win to fight for a belt. So my job now is to get a win. But I’ll definitely just fight the winner for the belt, I’m down with that, too.”
Gaethje (22-3) earned a shot at Nurmagomedov’s title by racking up four straight wins, all by way of knockout, including his UFC 249 finish over Tony Ferguson last May, but was unable to overcome the ground game of “The Eagle” in the UFC 254 main event.
It should also be noted “The Highlight” was stopped by Poirier at UFC on FOX 29 but has never faced McGregor. So I guess the fan in me wants to see a “Notorious” showdown at some point in mid 2021, though I wouldn’t exactly be sad over a “Diamond” rematch.