Justin Gaethje has urged Conor McGregor to put up or shut up about returning to the UFC.
The UFC’s first simultaneous two-division world champion hasn’t set foot inside the Octagon in over a year, with his last appearance in the cage taking place at UFC 229 in Las Vegas.
McGregor has, however, dropped multiple hints that he plans on returning to action in the near future.
Fan favourite Gaethje is eager to welcome the 31-year-old back to the action and has repeatedly made that desire known on social media.
Unlike everyone else who has called him out in recent months, McGregor has yet to respond to Gaethje’s call outs, nor has he acknowledged a direct message ‘The Highlight’ sent him on Instagram in March.
Gaethje, understandably, has grown frustrated with his pursuit of ‘The Notorious’ and has urged the former lightweight king to step up and fight if he’s serious about returning to the UFC.
During an interview with TMZ, a fired-up Gaethje said: “He keeps tweeting he’s going to fight.
“On planet Earth, there are two people who could possibly fight him: Me or Dustin Poirier. He’s only fought two times in the lightweight division in his whole career, he’s fought two times, he lost one and won one.
“He’s ranked No. 3 for some odd reason. He needs to either go away or fight. And it’s either me or Dustin.”
When asked if he’s ready to fight the Irishman, Gaethje replied: “Absolutely. I swear to God I thought he was retired. I have no idea.”
McGregor’s failure to acknowledge his call-outs have irked the in-form Gaethje, who has won his last three fights via first-round knockout.
“He’ll reply to Dustin on social media. He will not reply to me. I wrote a him message like f*****g seven months ago just trying to be friendly,” he added.
“I’ve tried every route. I’m trying reverse psychology, I’m trying to be his friend. I’m trying every f*****g route there is to draw this man out and I can’t draw this man out. And he’s calling out Frankie Edgar.
“It’s a slap in the face to me, to all the lightweights and to the standards we f*****g do here.”
McGregor’s last venture into the Octagon saw him suffer a fourth-round submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, his successor at the summit of the lightweight division.
Ireland’s first UFC belt holder was hoping to have an immediate rematch with the Russian but has seen his calls for a shot at redemption fall on deaf ears.