UFC lightweight division has some huge fights scheduled for the next year. In the most anticipated fight of the division, Tony Ferguson will take on the UFC champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Dan Hooker takes on Paul Felder after his impressive win against Al Iaquinta and Conor McGregor makes his UFC return against Donald Cerrone at welterweight. With all these fights planned for the next calendar year, Justin Gaethje has no fights planned for him next.
Justin Gaethje is coming off 3 first-round knockout finishes since his loss to Dustin Poirier and is a strong contender for the title. However, Ferguson vs Nurmagomedov takes place in April next year. If Gaethje waits for the title shot next, it will keep him away from the sport for more than six months.
“Ultimately I got into this for one reason, I have to fight for the world championship. If that is at the end of the road then absolutely. I am not gonna be a fool. I am going to make smart business decisions from here on out.” said Gaethje in an interview with Luke Thomas.
Khabib Nurmagomedov has defended his title against Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor since becoming the champion and he is set to face Tony Ferguson next. Hence looking at the landscape of the division, Gaethje seems to be the next contender for the title. However, with McGregor coming back early next year, he may be considered for the title shot as there is a history between him and the lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
However, Gaethje believes the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson has to be the next fight for him. He claims that a win over Donald Cerrone at welterweight division should not hand McGregor a title shot in the lightweight division.
“I am the guy waiting for the title shot. I got the winner of the fight in April as far as I am concerned. Three knockouts in a row. I am not sure what else I need to do. If there is someone else in the way I would happily go through them. But I don’t think there is. So the winner of that is looking like most likely.”
Although Gaethje seems to be the next in line for a title shot, a lot will depend on the outcomes of the upcoming fights between McGregor vs Cerrone and Ferguson vs Nurmagomedov.