McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) will return from injury later in the year to take on Michael Chandler in an expected welterweight bout. With McGregor’s lucrative name, a title shot with a win isn’t out of the realm of possibility – especially with fighters constantly calling him out.
If that happens, Gaethje (24-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC) will be very disappointed.
“Would I quit if Conor won and they gave him a title shot? Probably,” Gaethje told ESPN. “That’s how hurt I would be by the actions of the company that I represent. But that’s out of my control. I just really hope that doesn’t happen.
“We can imagine a lot of things, but there’s a possibility that that’s the scenario, which I would be devastated, for sure.”
In response, McGregor went on Twitter.
“This braindead fool got a title shot off of one single win and it was vs chandler,” McGregor tweeted. “Yet he will quit and retire if I get the same thing. Classic gathje bird brain. #Jackass Two Title attempt. No wins.”
Gaethje cemented his position among the top lightweight contenders with a majority decision win over Rafael Fiziev at UFC 286. He wants to rematch fellow former interim champ Dustin Poirier, who beat him by fourth-round TKO in the 2018 Fight of the Year.
“I’m a much different, more mature fighter, as is (Poirier), but I think we’re two of the best in the world,” Gaethje said. “Neither one of us have a fight lined up, so no-brainer. It leads to big title discussions. I gave the new guys a chance, they proved that they can’t crack it yet with the experienced. At the end of the day, it comes down to their ability to fight a smart fight and not get too tired.”