On October 24, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated interim champion Justin Gaethje by second-round submission in the main event of UFC 254. After his hand was raised, “The Eagle” surprised viewers during his post-fight interview with commentator Jon Anik when he announced he was retiring from the sport.
Because Nurmagomedov is retiring, he will relinquish the title and two fighters will compete for the vacant belt. And Gaethje has an idea who should fight for it.
Speaking with Megan Olivi after the fight, “The Highlight” floated the idea of himself and Conor McGregor fighting for the vacant lightweight belt. “Notorious,” who is ranked No. 4 at lightweight, has been linked to a fight with No. 2 ranked Dustin Poirier, however the fight has yet to become official.
“With [Nurmagomedov] retired, I’m No.1 … Poirier [and] McGregor are going to fight,: Gaethje said. “They haven’t made it official so if McGregor wants to bounce out and get the belt then I’m right here. If they want to give it to someone else, so be it. But, I’ll be ready and I’m ready to fight again. This is my job, this is my life, and I love it so much.”
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McGregor Ripped Gaethje’s Performance Before Deleting the Tweet
Later on Saturday, McGregor reacted to Gaethje’s challenge and responded to it via Twitter. The Irishman wrote, “Dustin KO’d you, as well as your wrestling/grappling and overall fear of the central positions being truly embarrassing tonight, Justin,” McGregor tweeted.
See a screenshot of Notorious’ now-deleted tweet below:
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UFC 254 Fight Card & Results
UFC 254 featured 12 matches, including the highly anticipated main event with Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje. In the co-main event, middleweights Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier battled for the presumed top-contender slot in the division.
Whittaker won the fight by decisive unanimous decision and has likely placed himself at the front of the line for a rematch with current middleweight king Israel Adesanya.
See the full fight card and results below:
Lightweight Bout: Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Justin Gaethje via Second-Round Triangle Choke
Middleweight Bout: Robert Whittaker def. Jared Cannonier via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Heavyweight Bout: Alexander Volkov def. Walt Harris via Second-Round TKO
Middleweight Bout: Phil Hawes def. Jacob Malkoun via First-Round KO
Women’s Flyweight Bout: Lauren Murphy def. Liliya Shakirova via Second-Round Rear-Naked Choke
Light Heavyweight Bout: Magomed Ankalaev def. Ion Cuțelaba via First-Round KO
Heavyweight Bout: Tai Tuivasa def. Stefan Struve via First-Round KO
140-Pound Catchweight Bout: Casey Kenney def. Nathaniel Wood via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
173-Pound Catchweight Bout: Shavkat Rakhmonov def. Alex Oliveira via First-Round Guillotine Choke
Light Heavyweight Bout: Da Un Jung vs. Sam Alvey Determined a Draw (29-28, 28-29, 28-28)
Early Preliminary Card
Women’s Flyweight Bout: Miranda Maverick def. Liana Jojua via First-Round TKO
159.5-Pound Catchweight Bout: Joel Álvarez def. Alexander Yakovlev via First-Round Armbar