Justin Gaethje returns to the Octagon this weekend in a hugely anticipated matchup against Donald Cerrone in the co-main event of the UFC’s return to Vancouver, and he has his eye on his preferred next steps, should he emerge the victor.
“The Highlight” is edging closer to a title fight after back-to-back knockouts of James Vick and Edson Barboza back in March, and knows a convincing win over the veteran “Cowboy” this weekend raises his stock in the ultra-competitive 155-pound division. Gaethje took some time out of fight week to speak to MMA Fighting, and said that if he gets past Cerrone on Saturday then he only has eyes on two opponents.
“I think there’s two options for me — whoever wins [Khabib Nurmagomedov] against Tony or I fight Conor [McGregor],” Gaethje said. “Those are the two options I’ll be looking at when I’m done.”
McGregor revealed several weeks ago that he had been planning his UFC comeback for July and was going to be fighting Gaethje, but injured his hand in sparring and was forced to delay his return. While Gaethje would love a fight against the former champion, he claimed it was the first he had heard of it.
“I have no idea how close it was [to being made],” Gaethje said. “I’m sure the UFC was really hounding him to fight. He probably said he was going to fight. He probably said he would fight me and then he probably broke his hand before I found out is what I’m guessing or it’s just not true.”