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Justin Gaethje plans to continue ‘legendary’ UFC run by taking out Khabib, then Conor McGregor

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There was a time when facing Conor McGregor was at the top of every fighter’s list who competed in the featherweight, lightweight and to some extent, the welterweight division. And while there are still many calling for a bout against “Notorious” based on the belief that they will receive a record-setting payday, not everyone is quick to drop everything for the chance to face the fiery Irishman.

Among them is Justin Gaethje, who says that even though he can probably score a fight against McGregor at this very moment, fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov for the 155-pound title is more important, and he won’t trade it for anything.

“I could fight him right now if I wanted to,” Gaethje said, on a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience. (via MMA Junkie). “Everyone is going to say that I’m lying and that I would take (the fight with McGregor). Daniel Cormier said that the other day, (but) I’m not that fighter.”

For Gaethje, following his specific plan could end up not only giving him a one of a kind resume, but also net him even more cash in the long-run.

“For one, I have the opportunity to do something that can be unmatched in the history of our sport. To go in there coming off the circumstances to beat Tony like I did, go beat Khabib, go beat Conor, that’s legendary,” he added.

“Business-wise, the smart move would be (to) fight Conor right now because that’s obviously a lot of money,” Gaethje said. “But I make more money when I beat Khabib, and then fight (McGregor). And if Conor is not there, I’ll fight Poirier. He’s not on my list, Conor. Khabib and Poirier are the two on my list right now. If I fight both and make good pay days, then I’m good.”

Indeed, “Highlight” accomplished step one by knocking out Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 a few weeks ago to win the interim title (see it here). As far as a timeline for his title unification bout against Khabib, that remains to be seen, though “The Eagle” is targeting a date of September.

As far as McGregor goes, now that Dana White has shut down any chances of him fighting Kamaru Usman for the 170-pound title, it seems playing the waiting game is one of his best options.

That, or he can take part in another fun fight against Anderson Silva.