Though far from confirmed, popular belief is that Conor McGregor and Justin Gaethje will hook them up later this year, presumably at the scheduled UFC 252 pay-per-view (PPV) event on July 11 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Assuming the COVID-19 pandemic has died down by then.
Should the fight come to pass, the winner could very well be in line for a shot at the title. That said, if McGregor rises from the ashes the victor, getting another crack at the 155-pound crown could prove to be a tough task, especially if Khabib Nurmagomedov is still at the top of the mountain by then.
That’s because “The Eagle” has been very vocal about McGregor not getting another crack at his belt as long as he is champion, or at least wins 10 more fights. Gaethje, however, disagrees.
“I think I have to look at the big picture whenever I think about it,” Gaethje explained when speaking to MMA Fighting. “I think me waiting to fight the winner of Khabib-Tony isn’t realistic. I think I will have to fight again.
“I think me and Conor need to fight each other to figure out the No. 1 contender. Outside of that, if I need to fight someone else to assure myself of the No. 1 contender’s spot and get the winner of that fight, I’ll do that. As long as that’s a sure thing.”
Conor proved victorious in his last outing by knocking out Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 in a fight contested at welterweight (see it again here). And while some like Daniel Cormier feel “Notorious” didn't show much in that performance to prove a rematch against Khabib will turn out any different, Gaethje believes a win over him should be more than enough to get the chance to prove critics wrong.
“He knows that if he fights me and beats me, nobody — Khabib [Nurmagomedov], Ali [Abdelaziz], whoever — can’t say much about him earning it or deserving the title shot. But until then, he ain’t going to get it.”
Gaethje, meanwhile, was also last seen dismantling “Cowboy” in the opening frame, as well.