Justin Gaethje, number two rated lightweight after letting the smoke clear from UFC 257, recently shared his thoughts on the current state of the lightweight division and his thoughts on seeing Conor McGregor being taken out.
Gaethje wasted no time dropping his two cents on the number six ranked lightweight McGregor in an interview with ESPN MMA, getting TKO’d by number one challenger Dustin Poirier for the first time in his career.
“I love seeing a loudmouth kid get knocked out; there’s nothing that makes me happier,” Gaethje said. “Seeing a piece of s–t get put down, that was great. I loved it.”
Gaethje also made a challenge before locking on to the next lightweight challenger should the UFC make the prospective trilogy battle for the undisputed lightweight championship between Poirier and McGregor.
“I will never fight for the UFC again,” Gaethje said. “I would probably really think about never fighting for the UFC if he fights for a title again. That would be preposterous.”
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Gaethje then turned his attention to Dustin Poirier, the UFC 257 main event champion and the current number one competitor in the lightweight division.
“I’d rather fight Dustin Poirier [instead of McGregor], absolutely,” Gaethje said. “That’s the best man in the division right now if Khabib was retired.”
Gaethje was also open to the idea of battling Nate Diaz, one of the greatest stars in the UFC.
Pundits and other fighters have had some speculation that Diaz would make a return to lightweight. A unanimous decision win over Michael Johnson in December of 2015 was his last fight in the division.
“If they call me to fight Nate Diaz, I’m fighting Nate Diaz,” Gaethje said. “I will roll him up and smoke him like a blunt.”
Gaethje also noted his openness to fighting against Charles Oliveira, the number three ranked lightweight challenger, and Michael Chandler, ranked number four.
“I wanna fight for a title,” Gaethje said. “Poirier, McGregor, Diaz, Chandler, Oliveira at the end.”
Gaethje conceded to Oliveira’s challenge from a match-up point of view, rationalizing his decision to put “Do Bronx” at the end of his list.
“I mean, Oliveira’s the toughest match-up in the division,” Gaethje said. “He brings a very particular set of skills. But Paul Felder knocked him out, he doesn’t like getting hit, and I hit like a truck.”
Whoever is next in the top five of the most stacked division of the UFC for “The Highlight,” Gaethje is a game.