On Thursday, former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor laid out plans for a comeback, starting on January 18. While McGregor didn’t specify an opponent for his next fight, ESPN reporter Ariel Helwani subsequently clarified that Donald Cerrone is the most likely option for the Irishman’s next fight, while Justin Gaethje is also a possibility.
Gaethje has caught wind of this news, and doesn’t seem happy that he’s the second priority after Cerrone. He did, after all, beat Cerrone just a few weeks ago.
Speaking on Twitter, Gaethje blasted McGregor for targeting Cerrone —and for his recent callout of featherweight turned bantamweight Frankie Edgar.
He also promised not to submit McGregor if the opportunity arises in their prospective fight.
“First a bantamweight now the man I defeated last. I can fight in January [Conor McGregor],” Gaethje wrote. “Let’s show the world the little coward you are. I won’t take your neck when you give it to me and the fetal position is not an option.”
While Cerrone and Gaethje are the frontrunners for McGregor’s next opponent, the Irishman is seemingly hellbent on earning a rematch with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who he lost to in late 2018.
Speaking at Thursday’s press conference, he went off on the Russian for avoiding this rematch, specifically in Moscow
“He is afraid of the Moscow bout for whatever reason,” McGregor said. “I’m not sure, does he represent Russia? I don’t think he does represent Russia. I have never seen the man represent Russia in my life. Have you ever seen him raise a Russian flag the way I raise the Irish flag, with pride? I have never seen it once my life. He is running from the bout in Moscow. The public want it. The people want it. His own father wants it. He does not want it.”
Do you think Conor McGregor and Justin Gaethje will end up sharing the cage in January?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/23/2019.