After viciously knocking Edson Barboza in the first round of their headlining contest at UFC on ESPN 2, many fans have pondered who could be next for the ever-exciting lightweight contender.
Gaethje himself believes he may be close to earning himself a title shot, but does not want to jump the queue ahead of Dustin Poirier, who captured the interim lightweight title in the main event of UFC 236. Justin Gaethje spoke to reporters backstage at the event, where he said that the interim title holder definitely deserves the next shot at the champ.
“I believe the winner of tonight, deservedly so, gets a shot at Khabib, and I want to put myself in position to fight the winner of that fight,” Gaethje said. “I think Tony and Conor do that for me.”
The last interim lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson is currently away from the sport as he deals with mental health issues. However, Gaethje believes that Ferguson will return and he would love to take on “El Cucuy” when he is fit to return.
“Tony is dealing with whatever he has to deal with, I expect him to take as much time as he needs to come back 100 percent. I know he can come back right now. He’s a warrior, there’s no doubt about it.”
The other name Gaethje would like to compete against is the former champ-champ, Conor McGregor. However, Gaethje isn’t entertained by the uncertainty surrounding McGregor. All he wants to determine is his next step towards a title shot.
“Who f*cking knows what’s happening with Conor? But they either take him out of the rankings if he’s retired, or they keep him in the rankings and he has to fight somebody. If that’s me, cool. If that’s not me, cool, but there has to be some type of structure to what’s going on here. We can’t just keep floating around.”
A fan on Twitter then asked Gaethje who he would like next, and “The Highlight” remained unmoved in his future plans, keeping his answer short and sweet.
Regardless of who Gaethje fights next, its a contest that everyone will be clamoring to witness. The carnage and ferocity brought by Gaethje every time he enters the cage is simply not to be missed.