A UFC champion took at shot at Conor McGregor on Sunday by claiming the Irish superstar ducked him earlier this year. Interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje blasted McGregor over that issue as well as McGregor’s recent social media posts about UFC president Dana White.
Gaethje posted, “@TheNotoriousMMA Not a good look lying on the boss. Anything to not look like a b****. You had me in January I was calling on you left and right and not a peep. My manager asked if I wanted you after Tony but you know, f*** you. You never wanted it, you took the easy road kid.”
Gaethje’s Next Fight Looms Large
Gaethje’s next fight will be against UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254 on October 24 in Abu Dhabi.
The American was once considered one of the front-runners to land a lucrative UFC fight against McGregor, but that contest never materialized.
Now, Gaethje is saying that the fight could have happened back in January, presumedly at UFC 246. But McGregor faced Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at that event instead, and Gaethje ended up facing Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in May.
Still, Gaethje recently admitted that he would want the chance to face McGregor in the future if he’s able to beat Nurmagomedov at UFC 254 to become the undisputed champion at 155 pounds.
In Gaethje’s opinion, beating Nurmagomedov and McGregor would secure the American’s UFC legacy.
“I’ve watched this sport a long time since Tito Ortiz was champion in the early 2000s. Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, all those guys,” said Gaethje. “I truly think, if I can beat Khabib and Conor McGregor [after that], I will have cemented something that is almost unmatched.”
But that didn’t keep Gaethje from laying the wood on McGregor via social media on Sunday.
McGregor Headed Back to Boxing for Now
As tantalizing as McGregor vs. Gaethje sounds, the truth of the matter is that McGregor probably won’t be fighting in the UFC again anytime soon.
On Friday, he announced his intention on facing boxing legend Manny Pacquiao in a boxing match early next year in the Middle East. While he also insisted he wanted to fight in the UFC again soon, his behavior over the last few days suggests he’s not going to make nice with White or any other UFC officials soon.
As noted by Gaethje, that’s probably not the best strategy for getting back into the UFC’s Octagon anytime soon.
Still, McGregor does remain the single biggest superstar in the sport, so cooler heads are likely to prevail eventually over the matter. There’s simply too much money at stake for everyone involved for that not to be the case.
But for now? At least until his boxing match with Pacquiao is over? It seems the only fighting McGregor is going to be doing in the UFC is via social media with that company’s boss.
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