By Dane McGuire
Come July’s result of the massive Conor McGregor-Michael Chandler bout, it could mean the end of Justin Gaethje in the octagon should it result in a title shot at 155 pounds.
It’s unknown if Mac-Chandler will be at lightweight or welterweight, but it will be McGregor’s first bout in two years by the time it occurs. That possibility has ‘The Highlight’ concerned.
“Would I quit if Conor won and they gave him a title shot? Probably,” Gaethje told ESPN. “That’s how hurt I would be by the actions of the company I represent. But that’s out of my control. I just really hope that doesn’t happen.
“We can imagine a lot of things, but there’s a possibility that that’s the scenario, which I would be devastated, for sure.”
The specifics of the bout such as date and venue are as yet unknown. McGregor is expected to fight in the latter part of this year but has not re-entered the USADA testing pool.
Chandler and McGregor served as coaches on Season 31 of The Ultimate Fighter, which airs May 30 on ESPN.
Since the last time McGregor fought, a TKO loss to Dustin Porier in their trilogy fight due to a leg injury, Gaethje is 2-1 with a finish win over Chandler and most recently a unanimous decision over Rafael Fiziev at UFC 286.
McGregor has already responded, saying on Twitter of Gaethje’s comments :
“This braindead fool got a title shot off of one single win and it was vs chandler. Yet he will quit and retire if I get the same thing. Classic gathje bird brain. #Jackass Two Title attempt. No wins. #geathje https://t.co/tKkoZsPIa5 — Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA)”
Having expressed interest in a fight with McGregor before, it appears Gaethje is ready to move on from that possibility.
“I think the obvious fight is Poirier,” Gaethje said. “Not sure when, but I think that’s obvious with [Charles] Oliveira fighting [Beneil] Dariush coming up. The winner fighting [Islam] Makhachev probably towards the end of the year. I think I’m either gonna fight Poirier or the loser of Oliveira-Dariush. I think those are the only two fights that are out there for me.
“I’m a much different, more mature fighter as is he (Poirier), but I think we’re two of the best in the world. Neither one of us have a fight lined up, so no-brainer. It leads to big title discussions. I gave the new guys a chance, they proved that they can’t crack it yet with the experienced [guys]. At the end of the day, it comes down to being able to fight a smart fight and not get tired.”