As things begin to pick up for the UFC in 2020, several fights have been made throughout the first quarter of the year and that includes a lightweight title fight between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and top-contender Tony Ferguson. While this is the UFC’s fifth attempt at making a fight between both fighters, other contenders like Justin Gaethje are waiting on the sidelines.
Recently, Gaethje told The Luke Thomas Show on Sirius XM that he would be willing to replace either Ferguson or Nurmagomedov in the scheduled UFC 249 title fight, if either were forced to withdraw. While Gaethje’s recent showings back up the claim that he deserves a title shot, UFC President Dana White doesn’t share the same thoughts.
During an interview with Aaron Bronsteter of TSN, White was asked about the current situation surrounding Gaethje and if he’d be next in line for a lightweight title fight and suggested that he’d have to win another fight in order to get a title opportunity.
“No. Listen, Gaethje knows what’s going on with Gaethje. Gaethje’s been offered a lot of fights that Gaethje’s turned down, Gaethje wasn’t willing to fight certain people. Yeah, I don’t know, we’ll see what happens on Saturday but Gaethje knows what’s going on.”
When asked about who he could potentially see Gaethje facing in his next fight, White couldn’t pick a certain fighter but also mentioned that the results of Conor McGregor vs Donald Cerrone and Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson will be the deciding factors as to what is next in the division.
“Off the top of my head right now, I don’t know. Khabib and Tony are gonna fight, Cowboy and Conor are gonna fight this weekend, and then we’ll see what happens.”
Currently riding a three-fight winning streak with wins over James Vick, Edson Barboza, and Donald Cerrone all coming by first-round knockout, Gaethje has staked his claim for a title shot, but Dana White doesn’t appear ready to give him that opportunity. If a lightweight title shot is not next for Gaethje, he could very well face Conor McGregor who said that Gaethje is “on the list” for potential opponents in the future.
Do you believe Justin Gaethje should be next in line for a lightweight title fight?