Following his victory over Tony Ferguson last weekend to claim the interim lightweight crown, Justin Gaethje told ESPN's Brett Okamato in an exclusive interview that former lightweight champ Conor McGregor is losing clout among UFC fighters.

"He's losing his clout. I don't mean with the general public, but with fighters, he's losing so much respect in the game, which he probably doesn't care. But to someone like me and even him, I would assume that matters a little bit," Geathje said.

Following Gaethje's victory, McGregor tweeted that he would "butcher" Gaethje in a matchup. But Gaethje told ESPN he does not want to fight the man known as "Mystic Mac" and instead may elect for a 155-pound title unification bout against undefeated champion Khabib Nurmagomedov later this year.

"[McGregor] doesn't hold the cards right now. I put myself in a great position. I asked for a say in my destiny, and I showed up. Now I can pick between Khabib and Conor right now. If I wanted to fight Conor right now, I could. Believe me. Why wouldn't [UFC president] Dana White put that together? But that's not the fight I want," Gaethje said.

But just because he doesn't anticipate fighting him now doesn't mean it won't happen down the road.

"I'm here to make money," Gaethje said. "When I beat Khabib, I will fight Conor because I'm trying to cash in."

The UFC will hold its third event in the last week this Saturday in Jacksonville with a main event featuring heavyweight Alistair Overeem taking on Walt Harris.