Top UFC lightweight Justin Gaethje has said he wasn’t aware that Conor McGregor was in talks to fight him this July before the Irishman broke his hand.
McGregor revealed he was “leaning towards a fight with Gaethje” when he spoke with ESPN earlier this month. In the interview, the former two-weight world champion also addressed an incident in which he struck a man at a pub in Ireland back in April, something Gaethje said he wants to “punch” McGregor for.
”That was the first time I heard that,” Gaethje said of the proposed fight with McGregor. “I was training for a fight, he broke his hand early. So I think even before it would have gotten to me he broke his hand and it didn’t come together. But yeah, it makes me happy. Cowboy’s number 4 and he’s number 3 so after I get through Cowboy it’s onto the next, and that’s him.” (Transcription via MMA Mania)
”He hasn’t fought in two and a half years, but he just has to fight and we’re talking about it. He brings the most attention, he’s the biggest superstar in this sport, he’s not even fighting and he’s still the biggest superstar. So of course I want to f—k him up. I see him punch an old man, do I want to punch him for that? F—k yeah, I want to f—k that dude up for s—t like that. He looks like a crackhead on your video.”
Gaethje is currently booked to fight Donald Cerrone in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 16 in September. Despite this, Gaethje, who has earned performance bonuses in all of his UFC appearances, wants a shot at lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov after.
”I want the Russian right now,” Gaethje said, referencing current lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov. “I’ll go out there and show Conor how to fight that man. You get your ass whupped and then you say the man ran from you? He dropped you and he beat your ass and made you tap. He made you say uncle or nanny or sissy or whatever.”