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Justin Gaethje flames Conor McGregor: ‘You had me in January ... you took the easy road’

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Lightweight contender Justin Gaethje is backing up his UFC boss in the promotion’s increasingly public battle with Conor McGregor.

The he-said, she-said between Conor McGregor and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) continues, with several other people jumping in as well to voice their own opinions on the subject.

In the latest sign that the relationship between Conor McGregor and UFC President, Dana White, is frayed to its breaking point, McGregor shared private messages from White (read them) on social media, a move White described as a violation of man code and “the dirtiest thing you can do.” McGregor turned around and said man code was broken when White “lied.”

Yep, he used the “L” word.

The latest additional participant in the battle is Justin Gaethje, who is currently where Conor would like to be: booked into a UFC Lightweight title fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov for UFC 254 on Oct. 24, 2020.

He took a look at “The Notorious,” claiming he never turned down fights and scratched his head because he ended up being the overlooked man for McGregor’s comeback fight in Jan. 2020, when the Irish sports star fought two-fight skidder Donald Cerrone in what ended up being a 40-second fight.

“Not a good look lying on the boss. Anything to not look like a bitch,” Gaethje wrote on Twitter. “You had me in January I was calling on you left and right and not a peep. My manager asked if I wanted you after Tony but you know, fuck you. You never wanted it, you took the easy road kid.”

It’s never been made clear who exactly decided on McGregor’s return being against “Cowboy” rather than Gaethje. In the end, both UFC and Team McGregor agreed to “the easy road” so does it really matter? But, as usual, it’s not as simple as the trash talk on Twitter makes it sound. Because after McGregor beat Cerrone and Gaethje beat Ferguson, McGregor campaigned heavily for a fight between the two to determine who would face Khabib in the fall. It was a big part of why he ended up “retiring” from UFC this latest time.

“I mean, why are they pushing [Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje] back to September?” McGregor told ESPN in June. “You know what’s going to happen in September, something else is going to happen in September, and that’s not going to happen. I laid out a plan and a method that was the right move, the right methods to go with. And they always want to balk at that and not make it happen or just drag it on.

“Whatever I say, they want to go against it to show some kind of power,” he continued. “They should have just done the fight — me and Justin for the interim title — and just kept the ball rolling.”

Unfortunately for McGregor, Gaethje was dead-set against fighting the Irishman and insisted instead on cashing in on his Lightweight title shot against Khabib. Which is fair enough ... but maybe don’t turn around then and pretend like the other guy is scared?

As McGregor said, it’s all water under the bridge now that he plans on fighting Manny Pacquiao in the Middle East for what will undoubtedly be another nine-figure payday. And if that’s truly the case, Gaethje seems like pretty small potatoes in comparison at this point.

Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 254 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2/ESPN+ at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 254: “Khabib vs. Gaethje” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.