JUSTIN GAETHJE has been cleared to fight again immediately after being given a clean bill of health by the Florida State Boxing Commission.
The 31-year-old produced a stunning performance to defeat Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 on Saturday night.
Despite battling Ferguson for 23 minutes 39 seconds, Gaethje has been completely cleared – and he wasted no time in calling out lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Having immediately flung his newly acquired interim belt to the floor, Gaethje made it perfectly clear that he wants the real thing from the Russian – before then facing former champ Conor McGregor.
Then I’ll go to Ireland and do what I got to do.
He told Joe Rogan: "Khabib is the best in the world. I’ve been working since I was four for challenges like this.
"And I’m happy to represent the United States of America versus Dagestan or Russia’s best.
"He’s 28-0 and there’s no other challenge I want right now. I want to fight him.
"Then I’ll go to Ireland and do what I got to do.”
Ferguson, on the other hand, will be ruing the loss – which has seen him lose his spot as No1 contender in the division.
The former interim king was hoping to become the champion outright at UFC 249, before Khabib was forced to withdraw because of coronavirus travel concerns.
The 36-year-old now returns to the drawing board, and has been handed a provisional 60-day ban for his troubles.
El Cucuy suffered gruesome injuries after having to absorb blow after blow from Gaethje – suffering a broken orbital bone and having to be taken to hospital.
His suspension could even be extended, pending further medical tests – although Ferguson's next ring walk is set to be much further away than just 60 days regardless.
Among those also handed a precautionary suspension was fellow Main Card winner Calvin Kattar – who impressively defeated octagon veteran Jeremy Stephens.
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