Morning report: Justin Gaethje on the end of the Khabib Nurmagomedov-Tony Ferguson saga: “I’m going to be very happy to get away from it all”


The past few weeks have been a journey for Justin Gaethje. First, when lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was forced to leave UFC 249 due to travel complications caused by coronavirus, Gaethje was called to replace the champion on a few weeks’ notice for a fight for the interim title against Tony Ferguson. Then, despite all of the UFC’s efforts to continue with the combat card in a global pandemic, cooler heads finally prevailed and UFC 249 was postponed, leaving Gaethje again without a fight. It was also short-lived, as a few days later, UFC president Dana White announced that the UFC would reopen on May 9 and that the fight for the lightweight title was return. This is a situation that Gaethje admits has been difficult to deal with, but now with his shot at a UFC title in the crosshairs, “The Highlight” is focused on optimism.

“Emotionally, as a fighter, it is very difficult to manage because it is difficult to turn it on and off,” Gaethje told ESPN recently. “So I was really caught in a strange situation. I’m glad it wasn’t until three or four days after I canceled it that the ad announced it again. . . It was hard. I sort of permanently dropped my foot for three days, but ultimately it helped because when I got the call, I went fourteen days in a row. I didn’t take a day off, so I felt really down. Those three days really helped me. In the end, I’m not going to have my training camp, but I’m going to have more time, so I have to be thankful for that. ”

It was not only the uncertainty of the fight that was difficult for Gaethje. The fourth lightweight competitor said that the UFC did not facilitate matters, which failed to communicate effectively with him throughout the process. Gaethje revealed that instead of hearing the fighting canceled or being consulted about the May 9 card transfer, he discovered it both times on the Internet, and the UFC simply assumed that ‘he would agree.

“The same way I found out it was off: on the Internet,” said Gaethje when asked how he was informed about the May 9 card. “I saw that Dana said that he had this card on May 9 and that I was the main event and I said to myself:” What is it ?! To be honest, I was a little upset because I always said I don’t want to fight them in short training camps and I don’t blame them, but they thought that because I was going to fight April 18, I would do May 9, but these are completely different circumstances for me. So I wasn’t really happy, but you’re coming back to the drawing board and the risk against the reward, for a world title that you can fight with one day’s notice. “

To be clear, however, Gaethje does not really believe he will be fighting for a world title on May 9, he thinks he will be fighting for a shot at the world title. Even though the interim UFC champions are considered champions, Gaethje himself does not put much stock in the titles, considering it a placeholder for where he intends to go: the champion UFC Khabib Nurmagomedov lightweights.

“When they wrap this belt around me, it will not be a destination, it will be a map, a map up,” said Gaethje. “This is how I see it. It will be nice to have a belt wrapped around you but for me it will not be the same. It never means that I am world champion at the UFC. But yes, absolutely, when I beat Tony, I fight Khabib afterwards. That’s why I’m here. I try to be the best in the world. And when I fight him, I want him to try to kill me because I won’t respect him if he doesn’t. ”

Gaethje has wanted a fight against Nurmagomedov for some time, considering himself one of the most difficult style clashes in the division for the undefeated champion. And if he defeats Ferguson on May 9, he will be essentially assured of that fight later this year. But if Gaethje defeats Tony Ferguson on May 9, he could do more than that, he could also end the long and sordid saga of a Khabib fight against Ferguson, which has plagued the world of MMA for years. Khabib vs Tony has now been booked five times and has yet to go through, and if Gaethje defeats Ferguson in their next fight and the ruins that go on fighting forever, well, he won’t lose any sleep over it.

“As a fan, I want to see this fight as much as anyone,” said Gaethje. “But to put food on my table. . . I really don’t care. I will feel a little bad because I know how badly people want it but for me to act like that will bother me, that would be a lie. I will be very happy to spoil it royally. “

Cut. The PFL cuts several fighters after having suspended the 2020 season.

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Come back. Luke Rockhold “could be itchy” to fight again.

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A-Side live chat with Sarah Kaufman.

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Free fight.

Lyman Good speaks COVID-19.

Conor’s last spar before Cerrone.

Heavy hands. Looking at how 135, 155 and 170 would be in the absence of their current champions.

Unfiltered CFU. Interviews with Dan Hardy and Charles Rosa.

Thank you.

Everyone itches so much.

Dan Hooker really jumps into this beef.



Gilbert Burns appears to have stopped calling Woodley.

BJM on the classification of the different weight classes.

Strange to look back.

Spot the lie.

You can now move like Dominick Cruz.

N / A.

Unused quote from Gaethje: “At the time, when someone raided your village, you didn’t ask for a break and ask for time. You had to leave, you had to fight and you had to protect your family. Right now, I’m protecting everything I worked for, 27 years of hard work. You can take it from me, but I promise you will go through hell. ”

Justin Gaethje is the man.

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow.


If Gaejthe defeats Tony, will Tony and Khabib ever fight?

  • 22%

    Yes, they will fight.

    (113 votes)

  • 51%

    No, they will not fight.

    (262 votes)

  • 25%

    Even if Tony wins, he and Khabib will never fight.

    (131 votes)

506 votes in total
Vote now

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