UFC interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje believes he would knock Conor McGregor out if they ever meet in the Octagon.
Gaethje is currently looking forward to a fight with undisputed lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, but there’s been ample discussion surrounding a fight between him and the former champion McGregor.
While Gaethje and McGregor have swapped plenty in the way of trash talk over the last few months, Gaethje insists he respects the Irishman’s accomplishments.
“I think he should wait for the winner of me and Khabib,” Gaethje told ESPN (transcript via MMA Junkie. “If I win, I think he definitely comes back. If Khabib wins, I don’t know. I’m not sure about that. (Conor’s) a legend, man. What he did was legendary status. I’ll never take that away from him. He deserves credit. He’s accomplished so much in this sport. What every fighter wants to attain, he accomplished, so hats off to him. I can’t wait to punch him in the face.”
Should Gaethje have the opportunity to fight McGregor in the future, he believes he’d drag the Irishman into a hellish fight and ultimately knock him out.
One of the immediate keys to the knockout victory he envisions, he says, would be managing distance early on.
“Distance control is the No. 1 factor in any fight,” Gaethje said. “It’s established in the first 30 seconds. It’s not visible, but it’s established, and that would be a huge factor in our fight. Who can control the distance? I think the best thing about me is I can kick the (expletive) out of people, so when they are trying to control distance or maybe they are winning at that, I can kick them in the leg and try to reset that. So I think I would knock him out to be honest.
“I think he’s got about three rounds, and then it’s hell, and he doesn’t want to go to hell, so I think he’s good for now.”
Who do you think would come out on top in a fight between Conor McGregor and Justin Gaethje?