The more things change, the more they stay the same.

For the last few weeks, Conor McGregor has been dominating the headlines. From announcing his retirement, to legal troubles, to starting a culture war with Khabib Nurmagomedov, McGregor has been reminding everyone that he is still the biggest star in the sport. And with McGregor seemingly announcing his un-retirement last week, things have started getting back to normal; meaning everybody in the vicinity of 155 pounds will be calling him out again, including the most exciting fighter in the sport – Justin Gaethje.

Speaking with TMZ Sports over the weekend, Gaethje called for a fight with McGregor, saying he’s the only opponent that makes sense for the former two-division world champion and Conor’s the only fight that makes sense for him.

“This is the craziest weight class there is right now in the UFC,” Gaethje said. “I think it’s the one with the most opportunities to become a superstar. There’s so many fights right now, but Conor sounds like he’s coming back, so I’m the man. If he’s gonna fight somebody, it has to be me. That’s the one I want. Tony’s there but he’s gotta go back and get better so that leaves Conor and me.”

Gaethje is coming off another Fight of the Night award at UFC Philadelphia, a 2:30 war with Edson Barboza that saw Gaethje cold the perineal lightweight contender. It was Gaethje’s fourth FOTN bonus in five fights, the lone holdout there being his 90-second KO of James Vick last August.

After his Gaethje was calling for a lightweight title shot, or the fight that gets him there. But with Khabib Nurmagomedov in self-imposed exile until November, and Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier fighting for an interim lightweight title this weekend, Gaethje has instead set his sights on the next best thing – McGregor. In true Gaethje fashion though, he’d like to make the bout as hard as possible, by taking on McGregor in his home country.

“F*ck, man, it’s the name of the game,” Gaethje said. “I want to fight him. I want to fight him in Ireland. I know it’s not gonna happen in Ireland but that’s my dream, to go over there and be in that sort of chaos. That’s what f*cking wakes me up every day.

“I’ll go out there and stand and knock him out. He wants to retire, I can help him on his way out.”

McGregor, of course, has a nearly infinite number of options for who to fight next, but Gaethje may well be among the most likely for him. Before he retired, McGregor said he still wanted a rematch with Nurmagomedov, a feeling which has surely only grown more intense after their recent Twitter feud. But considering the way their last fight went, McGregor likely needs at least one win before getting back in the title race, and with Gaethje’s recent surge, he could be just the opponent for McGregor. Plus, a fight between Gaethje and McGregor would almost assuredly be the Fight of the Year, that is, Gaethje says, if McGregor doesn’t make a business decision instead.

“He’s a warrior,” Gaethje said. “I know that it would intrigue him, for sure, but I also think he might just be like, ‘No thank you.’ He can’t take my leg kicks. If I wanted to wrestle, I could wrestle him all day, and I could knock him out. The last thing he needs to be is on his back, reaching for the sky and I could do that to him.”


Results. Artem Lobov earns decision win over Jason Knight at Bare Knuckle FC 5.

Wrestlemania. Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar both lost last night at Wrestlemania.

Gaethje. Justin Gaethje discusses ‘unprofessional move’ by Paul Felder at UFC Philadelphia.

Title shot. Kelvin Gastelum doesn’t think Israel Adesanya has earned title shot at UFC 236.


Bare Knuckle highlights.

UFC Countdown.

Fighters predicting UFC 236.

Izzy on his title shot.

Khabib looking back at his title winning (defending) performance.

Tito planning on fighting in October.


Severe MMA. Discussing Bare Knuckle FC and UFC 236.

Pull No Punches. Interview with Uriah Hall.


Ouch.

Hick Diaz is back in full force.

Cooler heads prevailed.

Homies.

Also, Conor with the tease.

That time has passed, Tony.

Manny Pacquiao coming to Rizin?

Boxers trash talking MMA fighters is so weird because it’s always like – “I’m gonna beat your ass as long as this is a very specialized fight with lots of rules.”

One of these things is not like the others.


Rory Macdonald (20-5) vs. Jon Fitch (31-7-1); Bellator 220, April 27.

Ronaldo Souza (26-6, 1 NC) vs. Jack Hermansson ( 19-4); UFC Fort Lauderdale, April 27.

Aleksandar Rakic (11-1) vs. Jimi Manuwa (17-5); UFC Stockholm, June 1.

Jimmie Rivera (22-3) vs. Petr Yan (12-1); UFC 238, June 8.


UFC 236 this week. If you’re coming into town and have any questions about ATL, hit me up on Twitter and I’ll be happy to help.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


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