Conor McGregor turned his attention to the new Baddest Motherf—ker (BMF) champion, Justin Gaethje, after UFC 291 this past weekend (July 29, 2023).
Gaethje put away McGregor’s most recent rival, Dustin Poirier, with a second round head kick knockout (watch highlights) in the main event to capture the BMF strap. Despite being verbally locked into a future clash with Michael Chandler, McGregor decided he wants to try his hand at Gaethje in an eventual return.
No longer interested in the fight, Gaethje is on to bigger and better things as he likely awaits the next undisputed title shot against the winner of Islam Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveira 2 at UFC 294 on Oct. 21, 2023. However, former UFC double champion, Henry Cejudo, sees it as a win-win situation for Gaethje to go after the McGregor fight in the meantime.
“Justin Gaethje, you’ve got millions and millions of dollars on the line if you fight Conor McGregor,” Cejudo said on his YouTube channel. “The belt’s going to be there whether it’s Islam that wins or Charles Oliveira, the belt will always be there and actually waiting for you. I think the best situation you can be in now is if I was in your position, I’m thinking about the bag. The reason why I’m thinking about the bag is because stylistically it’s a great match up for you.
“You got your leg kicks, Conor McGregor won’t be able to handle some of your movements and your really rugged, violent style of chopping off and really taking the legs out on top of you going high-low with your combinations,” he continued. “That being said, Justin, if I had to choose something whether it’s a UFC [belt] around my waist or about $10 million, guess what? I’m going for the $10 million. I think it’s a great storyline. I know sometimes you talk about [how] you don’t want to fight somebody who’s on steroids but whether he’s on steroids or not, it really doesn’t matter. Either way, you’ll beat him. The man hasn’t fought in so long. He’s not gonna be the same guy. It’s gonna work in your favor. At 155 pounds, I can see you stopping Conor McGregor in the first two minutes.”
McGregor’s last fight took place in July 2021 when he suffered a first round technical knockout loss to the aforementioned Poirier after breaking his leg (watch highlights). “The Notorious” has yet to return to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) testing pool, which requires six months of clean testing before fighters can compete.