Following his first-round knockout win over Donald Cerrone in last night’s main event at UFC Fight Night 158, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje snubbed a possible fight with Conor McGregor, opting instead to fight the winner of the proposed lightweight title bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson.
“The Irishman’s retired,” Gaethje told Daniel Cormier in his post-fight interview at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada. “I want a real fighter. I want the winner of Tony (Ferguson) and (UFC lightweight champion) Khabib Nurmagomedov.”
After having had some time to reflect on his comments, however, Gaethje said at the UFC Fight Night 158 post-fight press conference that he would love to fight McGregor but insisted that the former two-division champion is retired.
“He punched an old man in the face,” Gaethje said (via MMA Junkie). “I want to (expletive) him up for that. Far as I know, he’s retired. He’s in the rankings, so he either fights or he gets out. I absolutely would love to fight him.”
Gaethje’s comment about McGregor punching an old man in the face is a reference to ‘The Notorious’ allegedly punching a man at a pub in his hometown of Dublin, Ireland.
McGregor, who hasn’t fought since his submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, posted the following tweet following Gaethje’s stoppage win over Cerrone. Make of it what you will.