UFC lightweight Justin Gaethje could be the backup fighter for the upcoming trilogy match between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.
Gaethje has been extremely vocal lately about his displeasure with the UFC passing him over for a potential vacant lightweight title shot at UFC 262. Instead of Gaethje getting the fight, Michael Chandler is fighting Charles Oliveira for the vacant title in May, and Gaethje wasn’t happy about it. “The Highlight” recently said in an emotional interview that he believes he’s done everything that UFC president Dana White wanted of him, and he was sad to hear that the promotion passed on giving him the title shot over Chandler instead.
Speaking to the media following UFC 260, White explained what could be next for Gaethje. According to the UFC bossman, there is a chance that Gaethje could be the backup fighter for the trilogy fight between Poirier and McGregor in July. Although Gaethje wants the title, the fight between Poirier and McGregor is a much bigger fight financially. So the opportunity to slide in and be the backup fighter should something happen to either Poirier or McGregor might be too good of a deal for Gaethje to pass up if the UFC is offering it.
“Yeah, we could do that (a co-main event on the same card for Gaethje), or he could be the backup,” White said.
Gaethje is, as of right now, the highest-ranked fighter in the lightweight division without a fight booked, and looking at the rest of the top contenders at 155lbs, there aren’t many other options for him to fight at the moment. With Poirier and McGregor headlining a huge PPV in July, it makes sense to have a backup just in case, and Gaethje could be the guy.
Do you want to see Justin Gaethje as the backup for the Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor fight, or would you rather see the UFC book him to fight someone else?