UFC president Dana White recently went on record, claiming that Justin Gaethje turned down multiple fights offered to him. On Thursday, the number three-ranked lightweight contender shared his side of the story.
“I’m pretty sure it was, they offered me I think Tony Ferguson when Tony Ferguson fought Cowboy (Cerrone) in June and they were looking for a replacement in that fight at the end of May,” Gaethje said on MMA on SiriusXM (transcript by MMA Junkie). “I told them that it wasn’t enough time, but if they pushed it back a little farther I would take that fight, then they turned (the offer) down.
“Then they asked if I want the Tony fight on the (Sept. 7) Abu Dhabi card and I said yes and he said no so I took the Cowboy fight the week after that.”
“The Highlight” claimed that the UFC put forward some offers that did not make sense to him right after his first-round TKO win against Donald Cerrone in September.
“Just recently, they offered me Charles Oliveira in Brazil or Dan Hooker in New Zealand, all while the champion didn’t have a fight,” he said. “McGregor was coming back and still looking for a fight. As far as I know, that’s what the deal is.”
Ultimately, Gaethje did not take White’s comments personal, given how the business works based on his knowledge.
“He has people above him, telling him to put the fight together, this is the fight that’s going to make the most money, I’m sure, just looking from the outside in,” he said. “So I’m guessing why he’s saying those things. I don’t think he’s actually trying to make me me look bad.
“I’ve done everything that man could ever want from a fighter or an employee or someone that he pays money to watch,” he continued. “So I don’t think it’s necessarily anything personal against me, I think it’s people above him telling him they have to make that fight no matter what.”
Gaethje has yet to book his next fight. He is currently on a three-fight win streak, all of which earned him post-fight bonuses.