MMA News

Not caring about Conor McGregor, Justin Gaethje wants Tony Ferguson if he KOs Eddie Alvarez



DETROIT – UFC lightweight Justin Gaethje puts the odds of delivering a boring fight with Eddie Alvarez at pretty low.

After all, both fighters have agreed their season-ending brawl is for the unofficial title of “most violent man.”

Even if Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) suspects Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) will try to slow him down when they meet at UFC 218, he doesn’t expect to be held back.

“He’s talking a big game, but I still think he’s going to try and stick me against the fence and hold me there,” Gaethje, who coached “The Ultimate Fighter 26” opposite Alvarez, told MMAjunkie. “I’m a Division I wrestler, so I’ve got to focus on keeping him off me and landing hard punches and kicks, making him quit. I don’t know how many times he’s been finished, but I’m shooting to finish him, that’s for sure.”

Gaethje stormed into the UFC’s title picture with a debut stoppage of Michael Johnson, but he’s unconcerned about the logjam at the top of the division. Even though there’s no guarantee a fight with champ Conor McGregor awaits, Gaethje is resolved to press forward with the next best option: interim champ Tony Ferguson.

“I honestly don’t give a (expletive about McGregor’s plans), because it does not matter,” said Gaethje, who fights Alvarez on the pay-per-view main card of Saturday’s event at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. “If I don’t win this fight, I’m not even in that picture. So I’m focusing on Eddie. Can’t hate on Conor for making a (expletive) of money. Don’t hate him at all. So if I finish Eddie, I definitely want to fight Tony.”

Ferguson already green-lighted a fight with Gaethje after watching his stunning debut. But there’s a lot of moving parts when it comes to title opportunities, which is why Gaethje would rather think about putting on the most violent performance against Alvarez.

Even if he loses, Gaethje is confident his stock will remain high. So no matter what happens at the top, he’ll be back.

“I would rather lose than not get a finish I don’t want to win a boring decision,” Gaethje said. “That’s the last thing I want. It’s impossible. It’s either I get finished, or he gets finished. That’s how I fight. It’s life or death.”

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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