A rumored Lightweight showdown between Justin Gaethje and Conor McGregor — which was pegged to go down sometime this summer — seems to be nothing more than premature talk. That’s according to Gaethje’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, who took to social media to squash the potential bout, while stating his fighter is the true No. 1 contender at 155 pounds.
This rumor about @Justin_Gaethje fighting vs @TheNotoriousMMA is absolutely false. He had the opportunity to fight him already instead of cowboy but he didn’t. Justin is the number one contender and like khabib said. Conor needs to win 10 fights.— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) February 25, 2020
This rumor about @Justin_Gaethje fighting vs @TheNotoriousMMA is absolutely false. He had the opportunity to fight him already instead of cowboy but he didn’t. Justin is the number one contender and like Khabib said. Conor needs to win 10 fights.
Gaethje had been eying a fight against “Notorious” for some time now, but was passed over in favor of Donald Cerrone, whom “Highlight” knocked out just a few months prior to the booking. McGregor went on to erase “Cowboy” in just 40 seconds at UFC 246, prompting UFC President Dana White to say his biggest cash cow was the front-runner for the next shot at the title.
Naturally, that statement didn’t sit too well with most top contenders, including Gaethje. A pairing between these two strikers would’ve been the natural fight to make, with the winner getting the rightful shot at either Khabib Nurmagomedov or Tony Ferguson later this year.
Nevertheless, it seems that fight will not be in the cards, which opens up the opportunity for Dan Hooker to get his much-desired showdown against Gaethje, assuming “Highlight” and his management team don’t sit out in hopes of landing the winner of UFC 249’s upcoming title fight.