Justin Gaethje Responds to Conor McGregor in Explosive UFC 291 Exchange
Justin Gaethje claims Conor McGregor has turned him down six times and expresses concerns about fighting someone on steroids.
In the aftermath of his impressive victory over Dustin Poirier at UFC 291, Justin Gaethje found himself on the receiving end of a callout from none other than Conor McGregor. McGregor, known for his bold and outspoken nature, took to Twitter to express his desire to fight Gaethje, dismissing Michael Chandler as yesterday's news. This callout reignited a long-standing rivalry between Gaethje and McGregor, who have been targeting each other for years without ever stepping into the octagon together.
During a media scrum following the fight, Gaethje finally had the opportunity to respond to McGregor's callout. In his response, Gaethje revealed that he had been turned down by McGregor on six different occasions. He also noted that McGregor typically only agrees to fight opponents who have suffered losses, leaving Gaethje puzzled as to why he has been repeatedly rejected.
Gaethje has been vocal about his desire to fight McGregor since 2019, initially hoping for a showdown on Irish soil. However, his perspective seems to have shifted over time, as he now seems more interested in seeing McGregor face defeat at the hands of other fighters.
When pressed further about a potential fight with McGregor, Gaethje expressed his enthusiasm for big fights and exciting matchups. However, he made it clear that he would not fight someone who is using performance-enhancing drugs. Gaethje emphasized his commitment to clean competition and his disdain for cheaters, even if it meant jeopardizing his chances of securing the highly anticipated fight with McGregor.
While McGregor has never failed a drug test, his reluctance to re-enter the UFC's drug testing pool following his leg injury in 2021 has raised some eyebrows. According to reports, McGregor failed to fulfill the six-month clean testing requirement before the UFC's final PPV event of 2023. This has added to the uncertainty surrounding McGregor's commitment to clean competition.
Since breaking his leg in the fight against Poirier at UFC 264, McGregor has been out of action. He has undergone a physical transformation, bulking up to 190 pounds and securing a coaching role on the 31st season of the Ultimate Fighter. Plans for his next fight, including a potential matchup with Michael Chandler, remain uncertain at this time.
As for Gaethje, he is eyeing a shot at the undisputed 155-pound belt and hopes to be next in line for a title fight. Currently, Islam Makhachev holds the championship, and he is set to defend his title against Charles Oliveira in a rematch at UFC 294 in October.
Gaethje's future in the sport remains uncertain, but he made it clear that he does not want a rematch with Poirier to be his next fight. Despite their 1-1 record, Gaethje expressed his reluctance to face Poirier again unless it becomes a necessary and unavoidable matchup.
Following his victory at UFC 291, Gaethje now boasts a two-fight win streak and an impressive record of 25-4. He also earned a $50,000 bonus for his performance, adding to his collection of ten post-fight bonuses in the UFC.