Cowboy Cerrone and Justin Gaethje
Justin Gaethje appears to be next in line for a title shot following three straight wins against James Vick, Edson Barboza, and most recently, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone. After the Cerrone fight, he was asked as to what's next for him and he made it clear that he wants a title shot.
He also said he intended to wait it out, which is probably the best thing he can do to get ready for a championship fight.
It appears to be Khabib Nurmagomedov that he wants to face more and he's going to be waiting it out until April 18th and counting on The Eagle to defeat Tony Ferguson in their long-awaited match-up. We're going to know whether he's next in line following that fight.
Gaethje probably felt that the only fight that would get him right back in the mix would be one against Conor McGregor, but The Irishman chose Cerrone to be his opponent instead.
When talking to Luke Thomas on Sirius XM, Justin Gaethje revealed that he thinks the Lightweight title picture is a lot clearer with McGregor and Cerrone fighting at 170 pounds. He also stated that he doesn't think a win over Cowboy would earn McGregor a title shot.
.@Justin_Gaethje tells me he believes McGregor fighting at 170 clarifies things for the lightweight division and gives him a clearer path to the title next. He doesn't believe a win over Cerrone for McGregor would rate a 155 title shot.— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) December 2, 2019
While the UFC would likely be itching to give Conor McGregor another crack at Khabib Nurmagomedov, the Russian Champion stated in past media interviews that McGregor needs to get atleast "ten more victories" to earn a title shot. He openly refused a rematch against McGregor.
As for Gaethje, he's likely going to be asked to be the back-up for the Nurmagomedov-Ferguson fight but stated that he would prefer to face the winner of that bout instead. As of this writing, there's nobody outside of Tony Ferguson who deserves a title shot more than Gaethje.