Gaethje reacted on Tuesday to McGregor’s most recent tweet, where the latter forecasted a swift knockout victory over Gaethje if they ever clashed in the octagon.
Gaethje appeared indifferent when questioned about McGregor’s provocation following his UFC 291 triumph against Dustin Poirier, bringing up past rejections and allegations of steroid use. However, he slightly modified his stance concerning the ex-two-division champion.
Gaethje, who won the “BMF” title by defeating Poirier with a head kick, claimed McGregor had declined six times to fight him. This was when Gaethje was striving for lightweight glory and ascending the UFC ladder, and McGregor seemed an ideal adversary.
Justin Gaethje replies to Conor McGregor: ‘I won’t battle someone on steroids’
Justin Gaethje vs. Dustin Poirier 2 comprehensive fight video highlights
Currently, McGregor’s future is uncertain after agreeing to coach The Ultimate Fighter 31 against Michael Chandler. A drug testing deadline for McGregor to feature in the UFC 296 event at the year’s end has passed (with no exemption from the UFC’s drug testing partner, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency), and his challenge to Gaethje doesn’t provide assurance that he plans to confront the former Bellator champion.
UFC President Dana White has not discounted McGregor’s participation in this year’s events, but the Irish star’s next move remains unpredictable.
Henry Cejudo, the ex-UFC two-division champion, suggested that Gaethje should consider the financial benefits of a match with McGregor over the victor of the upcoming title rematch between current champ Islam Makhachev and former champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 294. He contended that the payoff from a McGregor match would surpass any future championship rewards.
“Justin, if I had to decide between having the UFC [title] belt or about $10 million, guess what, I’d opt for the $10 million,” he stated on his YouTube channel.