Conor McGregor recently claimed that, had he not injured his hand, he could have ended up in the Octagon with Justin Gaethje this summer.
“I believe it was leaning towards Justin Gaethje at that time,” McGregor told ESPN last week.
Gaethje has now responded to that claim. While the former World Series of Fighting champ previously campaigned for a fight with McGregor, he says he never heard anything about a summer scrap with the Irishman.
”That was the first time I heard that,” Gaethje told TMZ Sports (transcript via MMA Mania). “I was training for a fight, he broke his hand early. So I think even before it would have gotten to me he broke his hand and it didn’t come together. But yeah, it makes me happy. Cowboy’s number 4 and he’s number 3 so after I get through Cowboy it’s onto the next, and that’s him.”
Justin Gaethje is currently preoccupied with a UFC Vancouver showdown with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, but as he says, he’s hoping a fight with Conor McGregor will happen soon thereafter.
”I feel like I’ll fight him one day,” he said. “Probably after Cowboy. The winner of this fight, so long as it’s impressive. If he’s coming back, it has to be someone like me, like Cowboy. It ain’t gonna be a Tony. It could be the loser of Khabib vs. Poirier, but I doubt he wants to do that. So the next option is the winner of me vs. Cowboy if he wants back into the mix. He’s ranked number 3 right now, that’s crazy to me. But he’s got a lot of power.”
”He hasn’t fought in two and a half years, but he just has to fight and we’re talking about it,” Gaethje concluded. “He brings the most attention, he’s the biggest superstar in this sport, he’s not even fighting and he’s still the biggest superstar. So of course I want to f**k him up. I see him punch an old man, do I want to punch him for that? F**k yeah, I want to f**k that dude up for s**t like that. He looks like a crackhead on your video.”
Do you think Conor McGregor and Justin Gaethje will eventually end up in the Octagon together?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/27/2019.