Justin Gaethje

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 07: Justin Gaethje celebrates after defeating Michael Johnson in their lightweight bout during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena on July 7, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Justin Gaethje Shocked about Dana White Accusations; Details his Reasons for Passing on Fights

On January 18, Donald Cerrone will fight Conor McGregor at UFC 246. Just after the fight was officially announced, Dana White, president of the UFC, stated that top contender Justin Gaethje will have set himself up for a title shot after Khabib Nurmagomedov faces Tony Ferguson. This seems unfair to Gaethje, who seems to have a good reason for the next title shot with three first-round knockouts in a row. White went further to explain that the former WSOF lightweight champion has been turning down fights offered to him, when asked why McGregor would get a shot over Gaethje.

Recently, while speaking to MMA Tonight, Gaethje replied to White’s comments, stating why he’s turned down fights down and explains in detail why Dana would make such comments.

Gaethje explains; “I’ve been trying to figure out what he’s talking about. I know when he did that interview not too long ago when he kept saying, ‘Justin Gaethje knows what’s going on, he knows what’s happening. I literally had no idea what he was talking about so it was pretty crazy.”

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Gaethje further implied; “But I was just thinking about it with my dad, talking about it with my dad, and I’m pretty sure it was they offered me, Tony Ferguson, when Tony Ferguson fought ‘Cowboy’ in June and they were looking for a replacement for that fight in May, in the beginning of May and I told them that wasn’t enough time, but if they pushed it back a little bit farther, I would take that fight. So it turned out they gave that fight to Cowboy. That happened and then, they asked if I wanted to fight Tony on Abu Dhabi’s card, and I said ‘yes’, and he said ‘no’. So I took the Cowboy fight just after that and then just recently, I believe he offered me, Charles Oliveira, in Brazil or Dan Hooker in New Zealand all while the champion did not have a fight and McGregor was coming back and still looking for a fight. As far as I know, that’s what the deal is. I don’t know.”

In Gaethje’s last three fights, he has knocked out Donald Cerrone, Edson Barboza and James Vick all in the first round. Considering this, the former WSOF lightweight champion shouldn’t have to accept anyone else to earn a title shot. In addition to his accolades, Gaethje is known to be the most exciting fighter in the UFC since 2017, acquiring seven post-fight bonuses in just six fights. Taking all these into account, Gaethje says he doesn’t think the comments made by White were a personal attack on him, but a way to promote the potential Conor McGregor-Khabib Nurmagomedov rematch.

When asked if he has confronted Dana White about the statement made earlier by the president of the UFC, Gaethje replied; “I’ve never ever, really. Maybe one time in my life. I don’t have his number, he doesn’t have my number so I’m not sure. . . He has people above him, Dana White, and this is a money business. He has people above him that are telling him he needs to put this fight together because it’s going to make the most money, I’m sure. I’m guessing that’s why he’s saying these things. I don’t think he’s necessarily trying to make me look bad. I’ve done everything that that man could ever want from a fighter or an employee or someone that he pays money to watch. So I don’t necessarily think it’s personal against me, I think people above him telling him that he needs to make that fight happen no matter what.”

If McGregor wins the UFC 246 main event, it’ll take a while for a rematch with Khabib. A potential fight between Notorious and BMF champion Jorge Masvidal is also already being talked about. Gaethje, on the other hand, is fully focused on his lightweight title and hope he gets the contender’s bout as the co-main event to Khabib-Ferguson.

Gaethje buttressed; “I’d fight a 100 percent title contender fight against anybody on April 18th, co-main event. Then fight for the title against whoever wins the title that night. If it’s Tony, hopefully, sooner than September, and if it’s Khabib, then I’ll wait for Ramadan to pass and I’ll wait for him to train and then be ready for him in September.”

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