Gaethje: Eventual lawsuits are punishment enough for McGregor
The UFC lightweight division’s title picture was a mess last week, with a champion failing to defend for way over a year, an injured interim champion, and conflicting reports on who would lose what belt. However, Khabib Nurmagomedov emerged as the UFC lightweight champion, undisputed. And any defense McGregor might have made was eclipsed after he attacked a bus with Nurmagomedov on it, appearing to injure or frighten everyone on the bus, except ‘The Eagle’.
However, as soon as Nurmagomedov won the belt, he called out welterweight G.O.A.T. Georges St-Pierre, who recently won and relinquished the middleweight title. At the media workouts Gaethje discussed the title picture, and McGregor.
“There is a more clear path,” said Gaethje as transcribed by Shaun Al-Shatti for MMA Fighting. “Even though Khabib says he wants to go fight GSP, which is counterproductive to everything he talked s*** to Conor about, or talked s*** on Conor about. But other than that, yeah, it doesn’t matter. Tony [Ferguson)], the winner of [Kevin Lee] and [Edson] Barboza [could be next in line for me], but it doesn’t matter — I’ve got to get past Poirier, who’s a very dangerous opponent, and I’d be a fool to look past him.”
If any other fighter had done what McGregor did, they would be fired. But giving McGregor to a rival promotion would be a financial disaster. While the vast majority of fans are piling on McGregor, Gaethje things circumstances are such that justice will be done.
“It’s crazy circumstances that we hope will never happen again, but you put a bunch of fighters in an arena and someone might fight each other,” he said. “Conor’s going to get punished by paying millions of dollars to people, so that’s plenty of punishment. And I don’t want him to go anywhere, because like I said, I’m going to fight and claw my way to the championship. So either he’s there or Khabib’s there, it doesn’t matter.”
If Nurmagomedov remains champ and Gaethje fights his way to the title shot, he respectfully likes his chances.
“26-0, he’s No. 1 in the world on paper and he’s proven it over and over,” said Gaethje. “I absolutely think I could beat him. Kick his legs off. He holds his chin up high and I’m an All-American wrestler, Division I, so I do think I could stop his takedowns.”