In a post fight interview after his 95-second win over Dustin Poirier, Johnston calls out McGregor and Diaz:
I’m just coming in here just showing people that I’m serious in this division. Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz getting paid that money and they’re out here scrapping and having a sparring match. I come to finish fights. I come for the kill. Pay me, baby, what’s up?
Johnson says that if he beats Nurmagomedov — despite the Russian being the favorite — on November the 12th at Madison Square Garden will out him in line for a shot at the 155 lbs crown, but only if McGregor loses to Alvarez.
I know I can’t make any mistakes against Khabib. I know I’m going to have to be damn near flawless to beat a guy of his stature. That’s what I’m going in there to do on November 12. He’s relentless with his takedowns. He lives and dies off them and he will just go for them. I think that’s one thing I’m going to have to face that I’ve never faced before in any of my opponents. His wrestling is like my striking–it’s what he lives and dies off of. He’s relentless in it and I’m relentless in my striking and we are going to have two of the best styles going up against each other. I think a win will put me in the number one contender spot…If Conor wins then I’m pretty sure Conor and Nate will fight for their trilogy for that title. That will be the fight to make if he wins. That said, I don’t think he is going to win so who knows where that puts me. Hopefully, it puts me in line for a title shot if Eddie gets the win.
In a trailer for The Thrill and the Agony, Nurmagomedov tells Johnson to give up while he is giving him a beating:
You have to give up. I need to fight for the title. You know this. I deserve it
Then he trash talks McGregor to White between rounds.
KH: Hey, be careful. I’m gonna smash your boy.
DW: Just get through this first
Johnson says McGregor should give up his belt.
Y’know I see the division as kind of up for grabs. Conor’s going to box. I know they said some things about him coming back in December. You never know: $100 million lets someone relax a little bit. Who knows if we see him back then?…I believe that title should be vacated, because he’s signing over to another sport. As I look at the division, I don’t see a champion right now.