Justin Gaethje doesn’t seem to be on the same wavelength as Dana White.
White shocked many when he revealed that Conor McGregor would get the next lightweight title shot should he defeat Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 on January 18.
That is despite the fact that #3 contender Gaethje is on a three-fight winning streak and has long been campaigning for a title shot. White responded by stating that Gaethje turned down a number of fights and knew what he was talking about.
“The Highlight” finally responded to those claims. While Gaethje initially had no idea what the UFC head honcho was talking about, he later revealed what fights he thought White was referring to.
“Yeah, I’ve been trying to figure out what he’s talking about,” Gaethje said on MMA Tonight. “I know when he did the interview not too long ago, he kept saying, ‘Justin Gaethje knows what’s going on.’ I literally have no idea what he’s talking about so it’s pretty crazy. I was just talking about it with my dad and I’m pretty sure it was, they offered me Tony Ferguson. Tony Ferguson fought Cowboy in June. They were looking for a replacement for that fight in May. I told them that wasn’t enough time and if they pushed it back a little bit farther, I would take that fight.
“Then they asked me if I wanted to fight Tony on the Abu Dhabi card [UFC 242] and I said yes, he said no. Then I took the Cowboy fight a week after that. And just recently, I believe he offered me Charles Oliveira in Brazil or Dan Hooker in New Zealand all while the champion did not have a fight and McGregor was coming back and still looking for a fight. As far as I know, that’s what the deal is. I don’t know.”
It’s hard not to sympathize with Gaethje for not accepting the latter fights with lower-ranked opponents, especially when there was still a chance of him getting a bigger fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov or McGregor at the time.
But even then, it’s extremely harsh to have him completely skipped over, even if it is by McGregor.
The former WSOF lightweight champion doesn’t necessarily believe White is trying to make him look bad with these remarks — he feels White is just trying to make the most money by having McGregor get the next title shot.
“He has people above him, Dana White,” Gaethje added. “This is a money business. He has people above him that are telling him he needs to put this fight [McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov] together because he’s going to make the most money.
“… That’s why he’s saying these things. I don’t think he’s trying to make me look bad. I’ve done everything that man could ever want from a fighter.”
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) January 3, 2020