UFC interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje only has three names left on his hit-list: Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor, and Dustin Poirier. After those fights, he’s prepared to hang up the gloves.
Gaethje is expected to get the next crack at undefeated UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov. It’s an opportunity he relishes.
“I’m in a great position because, for one I get to fight for a title,” Gaethje said on the Joe Rogan Experience (via MMA Fighting). “There’s 500 some odd people on this roster, every single one of them would want to be in my position right now. But I also have the ability to bring some kind of rhyme or reason, a way, a way to a title shot. For young guys that come in, they think politics run the show. They ultimately do, but there is a small chance that you get a say in your destiny and eliminate politics. That what I just did. Politics were gonna f*ck me. I wasn’t going to get the fight. Conor was going to somehow or some way get that fight. Now, I got the chance to go out there and I did what I did.”
Beyond Nurmagomedov, Gaethje is also interested in colliding with McGregor, who he’s recently jawed back and forth with. He believes a series of win over Tony Ferguson, Nurmagomedov and McGregor would be one of the best streaks in the history of the sport.
“I do. I want to shut him up. I’d love that. I really would,” Gaethje said of a McGregor fight.
“I could fight him right now if I wanted to. Everyone is going to say that I’m lying, that if it was there I would take it. Daniel Cormier said that the other day. I’m not that fighter. For one, I have an opportunity to do something that can be unmatched in the history of our sport. To go in there, to come off the circumstances, to beat Tony like I did, go beat Khabib, go beat Conor, that’s legendary…
Lastly, Gaethje is interested in avenging a 2018 knockout loss to Dustin Poirier. After that, he’s content to call it a career.
“Fight Poirier and then get the f*ck out of here,” Gaethje said. “That’s all I need. What do I need after that? That’d be legendary, I’d make plenty of money – which is ultimately what I’m here to do – and I took control of my destiny, which is all I asked for. Business wise, the smart move right now could be to fight Conor, because obviously that’s a lot of money, but I make way more money when I beat Khabib and then fight. And if Conor’s not there, I’ll fight Poirier. He’s not on my list. Khabib and Poirier are the two on my list right now. If I fight them two, with big paydays, then I’m good.”
Do you think Justin Gaethje will retire if he beats Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier?