Conor McGregor told to fight Justin Gaethje if he wants a second shot at Khabib Nurmagomedov

  • Conor McGregor has been challenged to fight Justin Gaethje.
  • Should he fight, and beat, the expert striking American, then he will be deserving of a second shot at the UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
  • That is according to Gaethje and Nurmagomedov's talent manager, Ali Abdelaziz.
  • McGregor has fought Nurmagomedov once before, losing by fourth round submission in 2018.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Conor McGregor won't get a second shot at the UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov until he fights Justin Gaethje.

That is according to Ali Abdelaziz, the talent manager who represents both athletes.

The UFC boss Dana White may feel differently. As soon as McGregor had beaten Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in Las Vegas in January, White told the media at the T-Mobile Arena that Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor was the next fight to make.

Nurmagomedov must first fight lightweight contender Tony Ferguson in Brooklyn next month and, should he win, he could then be free to defend his belt against McGregor.

But Abdelaziz recently told ESPN that McGregor should first fight Gaethje, an American striker, before he gets to Nurmagomedov.

"If Khabib wins on April 18, Conor McGregor is not getting a title shot — simple," Abdelaziz told ESPN. "The only way Conor McGregor can fight for a title is if he beats someone like Justin Gaethje. If he were to do that, it would be hard to deny him."

Abdelaziz said victory over Gaethje would be no foregone conclusion for McGregor, as it presents a nightmarish style match-up for the Irishman.

McGregor has been finished and submitted multiple times in his career history, most recently against Nurmagomedov. For Abdelaziz, this is evidence he has been broken and can be broken once more.

"The reason why I don't think he's fought Justin Gaethje is I think out of everybody in the UFC, Justin Gaethje takes people to a different place. Many people break. And we've seen Conor McGregor break before. Justin Gaethje is a nightmare matchup for him."

McGregor had said last year that he would fight three times in 2020.

Insider previously reported that Gaethje and McGregor's old rival Nate Diaz are the two frontrunners to fight him this summer.

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