UFC superstar Conor McGregor had no words when it came to interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje’s recent claim that the Irish MMA fighter was “on his knees” now that Gaethje had the inside track on facing Khabib Nurmagomedov next.
Gaethje took to Instagram on Thursday to blast McGregor, “Isn’t it ironic that this dude is on his knees. Careful [Conor McGregor] you are losing your clout. Poirer sitting there ready to go like I was for the last 3 years.”
On Friday, McGregor laughed off Gaethje’s accusations.
While the UFC’s biggest star has been on a tear on social media recently, he had no words to say back in response to Gaethje’s comments.
Instead, McGregor posted a Face with Tears of Joy emoji, indicating he thought the ideas Gaethje expressed were amusing.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 15, 2020
Why McGregor’s Amusement Probably Makes Sense
McGregor’s amusement with Gaethje’s comments does stand to reason.
After all, despite there being other UFC fighters with championship belts and higher pound-for-pound rankings, McGregor remains the single biggest draw in the sport by a large margin.
He’s sold more pay-per-views than any UFC fighter in history. He sells more tickets than all of his peers. He moves more merchandise off the racks. He gets more stories written about him (because he gets more reads).
All those things are reasons why the fighter is usually in the prime position when it comes to the negotiating table. If McGregor wants that fight to happen next, he’s got a better than decent chance to make it happen.
Is McGregor vs. Gaethje Next?
So is McGregor vs. Gaethje next? Maybe.
McGregor returned to MMA after a long layoff in January at UFC 246. The 31-year-old made quick work of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in a 40-second drubbing that proved he was back to top form.
Now, McGregor hopes to climb back inside the UFC’s Octagon as soon as July, and facing Gaethje is one of the fights he seems to have his eye on right now.
Meanwhile, Gaethje snapped Tony Ferguson’s 12 fight win streak via fifth-round stoppage last week at UFC 249 for the interim belt at 155 pounds. It was a brilliant performance, one that essentially turned the popular puncher into one of the UFC’s newest and brightest stars.
Since Gaethje’s impressive showing last week in Jacksonville, Florida, McGregor has made it crystal clear via his social media posts that he expects to face Gaethje next even though pretty much everyone else involved in making that decision, including Gaethje, Nurmagomedov and UFC president Dana White, said it probably wouldn’t happen.
But “Mystic Mac” keeps predicting it will anyway.
In fact, he went so far as to guarantee it.
And knowing McGregor’s long history of predicting things to happen before they come to pass?
McGregor vs. Gaethje happening next cannot be discounted.
Gaethje Explains Rationale
Gaethje revealed more about his way of thinking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto in a story published on Friday afternoon. The 31-year-old American seems to believe McGregor is”losing clout” among other UFC fighters and that “[McGregor] doesn’t hold the cards right now” in regards to what happens next.
About the potential fight, Gaethje also said, “I have nothing to say to him. You don’t get to fight me next unless there are crazy circumstances, where Khabib cannot fight. Then we’ll fight. That’s the only way. Other than that, you don’t get a say.”
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