Donald Cerrone would understand if the UFC put Conor McGregor in a title fight ahead of Justin Gaethje and it all has to do with money.
McGregor is making his return to the Octagon against Cerrone in the main event of UFC 246 on Jan. 18. Dana White has already said if the Irishman wins and Khabib Nurmagomedov beats Tony Ferguson, he would set up a rematch. That was much to the despair of Justin Gaethje, yet ‘Cowboy’ admits he understands why the UFC would do that.
“If you’re talking rankings and deserving, sure,” Cerrone told MMA Junkie recently. “If you’re talking popularity and the business side of it and making money, yeah. It’s two different games. The UFC gets to pick and choose and do that they want for what makes financially more sense for them. That’s just what this game has turned into.”
Justin Gaethje is currently on a three-fight winning streak with three first-round knockouts, all in main events as well. There, the fan-favorite knocked out Justin Vick, Edson Barboza, and most recently, Cerrone. The 31-year-old is 4-2 inside the Octagon with his other win coming over Michael Johnson. His two losses, meanwhile, were TKO losses to Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier. He is also currently ranked third, one spot ahead of McGregor.
Conor McGregor, meanwhile, has not fought since he was submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in his return fight. It was the highest drawing pay-per-view in UFC history so that is why it would make sense for the rematch to happen.
So, whether or not Gaethje will get the next shot is to be seen. Or, he may very well have to take another fight. One option would be to rematch Dustin Poirier who is looking for a fight after also being submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242.