Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC
Now that a Lightweight title fight between division champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Tony Ferguson has been booked to go down at the upcoming UFC 249 pay-per-view (PPV) event on April 18, 2019 in Brooklyn, N.Y., fight fans have four months to sit on their edge of their respective seats, praying that nothing goes wrong prior to fight night.
After all, this is the fifth time the promotion has booked this fight.
Indeed, injuries and bad weight cuts have forced the cancellation of the previous four bookings, so you can’t blame the mixed martial arts (MMA) community for being a little cautious when it comes to getting overly-excited for this fight. Heck, even UFC president Dana White was a bit nervous when considering booking the fight once again.
But if the promotion doesn’t want to be left high and dry a fifth time, it would behoove the UFC powers that be to have a backup in place.
That’s where Justin Gaethje comes in.
“Highlight” recently told Luke Thomas that while it isn’t his preference to serve as backup, he is willing to do so as long as the promotion covers all his training costs to prepare for the title fight.
It’s not a bad proposal, and UFC has been known to pay fighters to serve as backups in the past just in case something goes wrong. And given the track record of Khabib and Ferguson, if there was ever a time to have another man on standby, this is it.
That said, Gaethje says a title shot should be in his future, as he wants the winner of this matchup. Winner of two straight — both via first round knockout — Justin (No. 4) should definitely be next in line.
And since the upcoming bout between Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 is set to go down at Welterweight, there is no reason to believe “Notorious” will be allowed to jump the 155-pound line with a win.