Gaethje elected not to take the bait and shoot for championship gold instead.
“The Highlight” lived up to his moniker by finishing the durable Donald Cerrone at 4:18 of the opening round. UFC Vancouver took place at Rogers Arena.
After exchanging pleasantries with his opponent to begin his post-fight interview, Gaethje was asked if he had “a certain Irishman” in his sights.
“The Irishman is retired,” Gaethje told Cormier in his post-fight interview following the main event win. “I want a real fighter. I want the winner of Tony (Ferguson) and Khabib (Nurmagomedov).”
Heading into the fight, Gaethje was the no. 5 ranked contender in the lightweight division — arguably the most loaded division in the UFC. After first round finishes of James Vick and Edson Barboza heading into Vancouver, Gaethje certainly has earned the right to be in the conversation to face the winner of Nurmagomedov and Ferguson should that fight happen.
Justin Gaethje improves to 4-2 in the UFC, and 21-2 overall as a big fight will certainly be awaiting the
Cerrone will go back to the drawing board after losing his second consecutive fight. After a three-fight winning streak — with finishes of Mike Perry and Alex Hernandez, along with a unanimous decision win over former title challenger Al Iaquinta.
For now, all eyes are on Conor McGregor and his social media accounts. As of now, there has been no response to Gaethje’s victory from the former lightweight and featherweight champion. In an interview with Ariel Helwani, McGregor stated that a potential fight between he and Gaethje was in the works for a potential Madison Square Garden card in July. McGregor said that he broke his hand and the fight never came together.