JUSTIN GAETHJE has demanded he face the winner between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier for the UFC lightweight title.
Gaethje has not fought since losing to champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254 in October.
Afterwards, Nurmagomedov shocked all by announcing his retirement, leaving the division wide open.
And while the Russian ponders his fighting future, McGregor will rematch Poirier – who he beat in 2014 – on his UFC return.
Dana White confirmed there will be no vacant belt on the line, but Gaethje, 31, believes the winner at UFC 257 will join him at the front of the queue.
He told The Schmo: “I’m number one so of course I want to fight for that f***ing belt, that’s why I’m here.
"Poirier and McGregor are fighting soon so I want to fight the winner of that.
“I wholeheartedly believe you should be coming off a win to fight for a belt. So my job now is to get a win.
“I want to fight for the belt and if it is the winner of that fight then I would, in turn, need to beat somebody first.
"But, I’ll definitely just fight the winner for the belt, I’m down for that, too."
Nurmagomedov has still kept the title, as UFC president White is hoping he will make a return for his final fight.
Before the death of his his influential father Abdulmanap, who passed away aged 57 in July after contracting coronavirus, Khabib confirmed they had always planned on retiring 30-0.
As a result, White revealed he will hold talks with the unbeaten lightweight king in a bid to convince him back one last time.
Nurmagomedov, 32, reiterated in a press conference that he has no desire to make a comeback, but would struggle to turn down £75million to do so.
He said: "If you decide to finish, finish.
"But the most likely thing is that Dana offers me money. If, for example, it's 100 million dollars (£75m) , it would be hard to make a decision.
"We'll see what he's thinking. I think it's something that will follow me until the en dof my life."
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