If Conor McGregor Gets Title Shot: ‘I’ll Never Fight in UFC Again’

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The MMA world tuned in on January 23 to watch Ireland’s Conor McGregor rematch Dustin Poirier at UFC 257, and the bout ended with “The Diamond” as the victor. Poirier finished McGregor in the second round via strikes after battering the Irishman’s lead leg with vicious kicks.

The two stars are now 1-1, with “Notorious winning their first fight back in 2014.

McGregor’s head coach, John Kavanagh, told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani on Monday that McGregor has expressed interest in fighting Poirier in a trilogy match next. Kavanagh also said that he hopes the vacant lightweight title will be up for grabs for the winner.

Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has not vacated the title yet, however the Russian has said that he’ll only compete again if a fighter interests him enough, making the state of the belt unclear.

One fighter who opposes McGregor’s wishes for a title shot is No. 2 ranked lightweight Justin Gaethje. In a recent interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Gaethje shared his thoughts on McGregor. “The Highlight,” who has long been at odds with McGregor, said he was happy to see the Irishman get finish. He also expressed that “Notorious” shouldn’t receive a shot at the title after coming off the dominant loss to Poirier.

“For him to come out and say he wants a title shot next, to rematch vs. Poirier, and his coach, they’re idiots,” Gaethje said. “He’s been treated special over and over, and he didn’t capitalize on this opportunity. That event was for him, that event was for him to win and he wants to be “Mr. Humble” now but you know he wouldn’t have been if he won that fight.

“So, I don’t feel bad for him. I’m happy for Poirier. I’m happy Poirier went out there and did his job, finished him. I love seeing a loudmouth get knocked out. There’s nothing that makes me happier. To see him get put down, that was great. I loved it.”

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Gaethje Believes McGregor Fighting Poirier for the Vacant Lightweight Title Is ‘Preposterous’

During the interview, Okamoto asked Gaethje if he thinks there’s a chance that he’d fight McGregor next should the Irishman not fight Poirier for the vacant title.

“If [McGregor] fights for a title, I will never fight in the UFC again,” Gaethje answered. “I probably shouldn’t say that.”

Gaethje backtracked a bit, saying he would “think” about not fighting in the UFC again as he believes Notorious competing for a title after the loss to Poirier is “preposterous.”

“For one, he’s sitting at No. 6,” he continued. “He’s won one fight in his entire life in the lightweight division. He picks and chooses who he fights. So, I have no respect for him in that manner.”

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Gaethje Is Ready to Take a Fight, Eyeing the Top of the Division

The Highlight is ready to get back to action. Gaethje last competed in October 2020 when he lost an undisputed title bid to Nurmagomedov at UFC 254. The fighter told Okamoto that he is ready to accept a match and wants 12 weeks to prepare for it.

As for an opponent, he’s interested in fighting the top names in the division, including Poirier, McGregor, No. 3 ranked Charles Oliveira and No. 4 ranked Michael Chandler.

READ NEXT: Conor McGregor Responds to Jake Paul’s Savage Challenge

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