Justin Gaethje says he wasn’t happy the UFC announced he would be fighting on May 9 before he was ever offered the bout.
Gaethje originally agreed to fight Ferguson at UFC 249 on April 18 for the interim lightweight title. Yet, the event was canceled and the promotion moved the event to May 9.
Following the card being moved, UFC president, Dana White announced several fights including Ferguson vs. Gaethje. But, “The Highlight,” says he wasn’t even offered to fight “El Cucuy” on that day.
“I saw that Dana [White] had said that he was having this card May 9 and I was the main event, and I was like, ‘What the hell?’ To be honest with you, I was a little bit upset, because I’ve always told them I don’t want to fight on short training camps,” Gaethje said to ESPN. “I don’t blame them. But, they had the assumption that because I was gonna do April 18, I would be fine to do it May 9. But those are totally different circumstances for me, and so I really wasn’t happy about it.”
Although he was never officially offered the fight until recently, he did accept the scrap. He says his goal has always to be UFC champion and this is his chance to do so.
“For a world title, you fight on a day’s notice. It doesn’t matter,” he said.
Justin Gaethje enters this fight riding a three-fight winning streak with all three wins coming by first-round knockout. If he gest past Ferguson the expectation is he will fight Khabib Nurmagomedov later this year and fight for the undisputed title.
For now, Gaethje is continuing to train and prepare for his May 9 showdown against Tony Ferguson. But, getting to this point was not a pleasant one. Especially after the UFC didn’t offer him the fight before announcing it.
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/23/2020.