Gaethje: UFC ought to take away McGregor from rankings if he does not combat

The UFC’s light-weight division may expertise a variety of shake-ups within the second half of 2019, and certainly one of its most entertaining contenders is keen to know the place he matches in.

Justin Gaethje (20-2) has resumed sparring and wrestling follow after taking a brief break following a first-round knockout of Edson Barboza in March. The Colorado native is trying to e book a combat in late summer season, though no opponent has been agreed on.

The UFC paired off a few of the high names within the 155-pound division final week. Former interim champion Tony Ferguson will face Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 238 on June eight in Chicago. Nate Diaz and Anthony Pettis have agreed to combat at UFC 240 on Aug. 17 in Anaheim, California.

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And though it is not but booked, champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is predicted to defend his belt towards interim titleholder Dustin Poirier in September.

The place does that go away Gaethje? ESPN acquired the previous World Sequence of Combating champion’s ideas on that and far more.

ESPN: You mentioned you are again within the gymnasium. In your thoughts, what are you making ready for?

Gaethje: S—, man, the height of my profession. I am ranked No. 5 proper now. There are 4 guys and the champion in entrance of me. I am on the lookout for a kind of guys, and I am on the lookout for an enormous combat this summer season. I do not wish to combat guys ranked behind me. I’ve acquired two knockouts in a row. James Vick was ranked behind me. I really feel I deserve somebody in entrance of me.

Trying on the panorama, Conor McGregor [who last fought against Nurmagomedov in October] is No. three proper now. If it is not him, there’s not an open combat proper now. So, that is the combat I need. He is No. three. If he isn’t going to combat, take him out of the rankings. I would be cool with that, too, and we will transfer on from there.

“There are 4 guys and the champion in entrance of me. I am on the lookout for a kind of guys, and I am on the lookout for an enormous combat this summer season.”

Justin Gaethje

ESPN: McGregor has talked about you on social media after a number of of your fights, together with the final one. How seemingly do you assume it’s he’ll settle for a combat with you?

Gaethje: I do not know, however so far as I am involved, he is within the rankings so he must be accessible. I am simply sitting in my home in Colorado. I do not know what the hell is occurring with him. However he is No. three. He is the one man ranked forward of me that does not have a combat. He wants a combat to get again to the title shot. That is me.

I do not know what else to say about it. Except he simply doesn’t wish to combat me, if he desires to be that choosy about it. I can not management that. I am going to fear about issues I can management. However I’d positively like to f— him up. Each time I get an opportunity to f— somebody up who talks quite a lot of s—, it makes it extra enjoyable for me.

ESPN: What do you consider him being ranked No. three?

Gaethje: He was the champion and he misplaced one combat since, so I’ve acquired no crap towards that. However the UFC must deal with their enterprise and put him within the cage, so I can f— him up.

ESPN: Did the UFC give you the Ferguson combat on June eight, earlier than reserving him towards Cerrone?

Gaethje: Yeah, that is not how I do issues, man. They known as me and wished me to do it in 4 weeks. My coach [Trevor Wittman] was going to be out of city for 2 of these weeks. The best way that I combat, man, I would be a idiot to work as arduous as I’ve my complete life to get right here, and compromise myself taking a combat like that.

I mentioned, ‘Let’s do July 6 as an alternative,’ and clearly we all know what occurred. I advised them that was too quick, however I really feel like issues are going to maneuver fairly quick on this division now. We’ll see how issues play out.

Justin Gaethje is able to soar again into the Octagon — however towards whom?¬†Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Pictures

ESPN: How do you see the anticipated title combat between Nurmagomedov and Poirier going?

Gaethje: I do not give Poirier a lot of a shot. Possibly a 16 % shot. I believe Khabib goes to take him down instantly, or create some type of scramble instantly. I do not assume Poirier stops his takedowns.

ESPN: How do you see Ferguson vs. Cerrone going?

Gaethje: Tony beats him up. Tony’s higher. Tony is simply higher than Cowboy.

ESPN: How do you see Diaz vs. Pettis going?

Gaethje: Most likely Pettis successful. It has been a very long time since Nate fought; that does not assist. Pettis has quite a lot of confidence proper now off that final win [against Stephen Thompson]. He is in all probability coaching arduous daily now that he is acquired this roll going.

ESPN: Have been you stunned when your teammate, former strawweight champion Rose Namajunas, mentioned she could retire after her loss to Jessica Andrade at UFC 237 final weekend?

Gaethje: No. I am extra stunned that everybody was so stunned by it. She’s already susceptible, after which put her into that state of affairs, she’s extra susceptible. She simply went via a traumatic expertise. Most people can be like, ‘I do not wish to do this once more,’ if it simply occurred to them. It is arduous to take something a fighter says severely on combat night time, since you’re both fired up otherwise you’re simply actually emotional. You are not pondering clearly. You are not analyzing all of the choices.

She’s the most effective feminine fighter on the earth, so … I need her to take pleasure in being the most effective feminine fighter on the earth. If she’s gonna do it, I imply, it is arduous. I do not know. I believe there are quite a lot of issues she could possibly be nice at. However I do not assume she’s achieved preventing.

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