Gaethje wants Khabib fight next before travelling to Ireland to take on McGregor
Newly-crowned UFC interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje has made it clear he wants undefeated Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov and Irish superstar Conor McGregor as his next two fights.
Gaethje destroyed Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in Florida on Saturday in an upset that shook up the 155 pound division.
And now the American, who has not lost since April 2018, is targeting only the best in the UFC for the rest of 2020.
Speaking after his victory, he said: "Khabib is the best in the world. I’ve been working since I was four for challenges like this.
"And I’m happy to represent the United States of America versus Dagestan or Russia’s best. He’s 28-0 and there’s no other challenge I want right now. I want to fight him.
“Then I’ll go to Ireland and do what I got to do.”
Khabib was initially scheduled to take on Ferguson at UFC 249 before coronavirus disruption led to Gaethje stepping in and causing the upset.
And now a bout between Gaethje and Khabib would mean unifying the lightweight belts and establishing an undisputed No 1 in the division.
Meanwhile, McGregor returned after more than a year out of the ring to obliterate Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in just 40 seconds back in January.
The Irishman has been linked with a fight against Gaethje in the past, but will likely have to wait until later in 2020 to get his shot.
UFC boss Dana White has revealed McGregor is interested in competing on ‘Fight Island’, which could involve an octagon situated on a beach.