Conor McGregor’s rival threatens to quit UFC over Irishman’s fight demand

Conor McGregor's rival Justin Gaethje has threatened to quit the UFC if the Irishman is granted a title shot.

McGregor was knocked out in the second round of his rematch with Dustin Poirier last month to seemingly shatter his hopes of challenging for the lightweight title.

But he is demanding a third fight with Poirier in May – and wants the 155lb strap to be on the line.

Gaethje, however, who unsuccessfully challenged current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, is ready to walk out of the promotion if that happens.

"He’s not fighting for a title," he said. "I will think about never fighting in the UFC again if he fights for a title.

"That would be preposterous. He’s sitting at No.6 and he's won one fight in his entire life in the lightweight division.

"He picks and chooses who he fights. I would love to fight him but I don't think it should be next – but he ain't going to fight me."

Nurmagomedov is expected to confirm his retirement from mixed martial arts and relinquish his title.

The Dagestani announced following his win over Gaethje that he was hanging up his gloves but UFC president Dana White had hoped to convince him to return.

That now looks all but impossible with Poirier set to fight for the vacant belt.

If McGregor can't convince his bosses to grant him an immediate trilogy fight, Poirier could face Charles Oliveira for the belt.

One man he does not want to fight, however, is promotional newcomer Michael Chandler, despite his debut first-round KO of Dan Hooker.

"I am the uncrowned lightweight champ. If Khabib’s out, I am the best in the division," he told MMA Junkie. "Former interim world champion, former title challenger. I just took out a two-division former world champion. I am the champ. I know that.

"I want to be the world champion, and Charles is a guy that’s paid his dues. He’s earned where he’s at, no doubt about it.

"Let him and Chandler fight for the belt. If they want Chandler in there for the title, and he’s calling for the title. Let them fight for the belt. I’ll take a step back and just watch."

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