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Justin Gaethje responds to Conor McGregor’s knockout prediction with contract challenge

MMA: UFC 291 - Poirier vs Gaethje Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe the seventh time is the charm for Justin Gaethje when it comes to fighting Conor McGregor.

Gaethje responded on Tuesday to McGregor’s latest tweet about him, a prediction of a “one shot” knockout win should they ever meet in the octagon.

Gaethje shrugged when asked about McGregor’s callout after his UFC 291 win over Dustin Poirier, citing previous turn-downs and what he alleged was steroid use. But he briefly changed his tune on the former two-division champ.

Gaethje, who claimed the “BMF” title by knocking out Poirier with a head kick, alleged McGregor had turned him down on six occasions about a potential fight. That was when he was on a mission to claim lightweight gold and climb the UFC ranks, and the former champ was a perfect target.

Now, McGregor is on the sidelines, still a question mark after agreeing to coach The Ultimate Fighter 31 opposite Michael Chandler. A drug testing deadline came and went for McGregor to participate on the year-end UFC 296 card (without an exemption from UFC drug testing partner U.S. Anti-Doping Agency), and his callout of Gaethje didn’t reassure the MMA world he intended to face the ex-Bellator champ.

UFC President Dana White hasn’t ruled out McGregor competing this year, though the Irish star’s next move is anyone’s guess.

Former UFC two-division champion Henry Cejudo advised Gaethje to think about the profit of fighting McGregor over the winner of an upcoming title rematch between champ Islam Makhachev and ex-champ Charles Oliveira at UFC 294, arguing the reward from a McGregor payday would outstrip any future gold.

“Justin, if I had to choose something, whether I wanted UFC [gold] around my waist, or about $10 million, guess what, I’m going for the $10 million,” he said his YouTube channel.

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