If Justin Gaethje doesn’t get “not smart” Tony Ferguson, he has another opponent in mind

Justin Gaethje

Shortly after his thrilling, back-and-forth TKO defeat of Michael Johnson, former World Series of Fighting lightweight king Justin Gaethje made a dynamite callout of top UFC lightweight Tony Ferguson.

While this prospective matchup immediately had fans drooling, we know that the UFC – and Ferguson – are still keen on an interim title fight between Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Luckily, Gaethje has a solid backup plan, should Ferguson turn down his invitation.

The new UFC star broke it down on the latest episode of The MMA Hour, first explaining that he’d happily fight Ferguson or Nurmagomedov if one of them withdrew from their long-awaited fight.

“I literally sat there and said ‘you’re going to tell me I’m not on your level, and you’re going to be lying’,” Gaethje said of his callout of Ferguson. “And then he puts that exact quote in his Tweet. He’s just really not smart.”

“You heard Dana,” he continued. “[Ferguson’s] got Khabib next. But if one of them has the sniffles, I’ll be there.”

Gaethje then offered a backup plan:

“I really want to go forward right now,” he said. “Eddie Alvarez is in front of me.”

“He’s number three. I want to fight the best in the world. I’m a huge fan of Eddie Alvarez. Nothing would make me more happy than to challenge that guy and get beat up by him, or beat him up.” 

Eddie Alvarez

Gaethje then discussed a possible fight with the currently injured Edson Barboza.

“Yep,” he said when asked if this fight interested him. “If he’s in front of me, I want to fight him. For sure. I just didn’t say [his name] cause I heard he’s out with an injury. I don’t want to wait till next year.” 

Who do you want to see the undefeated, ever-destructive, always entertaining Justin Gaethje fight next?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/10/2017.