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Justin Gaethje wants Khabib vs. Ferguson winner next, says Conor McGregor is ‘retired’

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Justin Gaethje isn’t interested in a meeting with ex-champ Conor McGregor, whom Gaethje says is “retired.”

Following his win over Donald Cerrone, Justin Gaethje believes he has done enough to get his first crack at the UFC lightweight title.

In his third straight victory, Gaethje knocked out “Cowboy” in the first round of the UFC Vancouver main event on Saturday night.

After the fight, Gaethje called out the winner of the presumed next 155-pound title fight, champion Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson.

“The Irishman is retired,” Gaethje said of former champ Conor McGregor in his post-fight interview. “I want a real fighter. I want the winner of Tony and Khabib. I want to fight Khabib before he’s done, and if Tony wins, nobody’s gonna miss that fight; we could put a million people in a stadium.”

Nurmagomedov and Ferguson are not currently scheduled to fight each other, but it’s expected that that will be the next lightweight title bout. Nurmagomedov, who is coming off a submission of Dustin Poirier last weekend, is undefeated at 28-0, while Ferguson hasn’t lost a fight in seven years.

Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been booked to square off four times in the past — once for the vacant belt — but the fight has never come to fruition. Both fighters have pulled out twice each.

In the moments following the UFC Vancouver main event, fans already started to call for a McGregor vs. Gaethje fight. According to a recent interview with McGregor, he and Gaethje were targeted to fight each other this past summer before “The Notorious” injured his hand in training. McGregor has not competed since a loss to Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October 2018.