Justin Gaethje
Justin Gaethje says Conor McGregor has lost ‘clout’ among fighters and said a fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov is the one he wants next. (Gregory Payan/Associated Press)

After Justin Gaethje defeated Tony Ferguson, Conor McGregor immediately asked for a fight against Gaethje. There are a lot of problems with that. Most notably, McGregor doesn’t hold any hardware. What makes Conor think he can request that fight without holding the belt?

In a recent interview, Gaethje hammered McGregor. He basically said the truth. Conor has lost respect within the fight game. He doesn’t run the sport. AMEN:

“He’s losing his clout,” Gaethje said via ESPN. “I don’t mean with the general public, but with fighters, he’s losing so much respect in the game, which he probably doesn’t care. But to someone like me and even him, I would assume that matters a little bit. He doesn’t hold the cards right now. I put myself in a great position. I asked for a say in my destiny, and I showed up. Now I can pick between Khabib and Conor right now. If I wanted to fight Conor right now, I could. Believe me. Why wouldn’t [UFC president] Dana White put that together? But that’s not the fight I want.

“I have nothing to say to him. You don’t get to fight me next, unless there are crazy circumstances, where Khabib cannot fight. Then we’ll fight. That’s the only way. Other than that, you don’t get a say. Dana White laughed whenever they told him Conor said he was fighting me. He said, ‘No, Gaethje is fighting Khabib.’ You’re still worth all the money in the game, that’s true. But you’re losing clout when it comes to inside the game.”

Justin Gaethje hit the nail on the head here, in my opinion. Couple of things to close out the post. Of course, Conor lost respect. When you break the law, show up to press conferences with bottles of whiskey, and get your face beat in by Khabib… yeah, you’re going to lose respect. Next… the fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov is the one to make. Gaethje is the interim champ. Khabib is the real champ. That’s the fight. The only reason that’s not the fight is if the virus has something to say.