Ferguson nabs the interim title.
Saturday night, fighters Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee descended upon Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena to compete for the interim lightweight title at UFC 216. Ferguson arrived into the match up with a record of 23-3 while Lee entered with a 16-3 record, and it would be in Round 3 that Ferguson would submit Lee in a triangle choke finish, forcing Lee to tap out at the 4:02 marker.
"This fight went exactly the way I wanted it to be,” Ferguson declared at the match’s end. “I wanted him to come out at me and use all that aggression and leave nothing left for that submission."
"I knew he was going to be slippery and I knew he was a game opponent and was going to be tough," he added. "I just knew I had to weather the storm and he was going to keep using that energy, so I pissed him off more so that he would use it."
Lee, who had actually struggled to make the weight cut, still managed to pull out a decent performance despite entering the Octagon on Saturday with a staph infection, as evidenced by a red blotch on his chest.
"The staph was bothering me throughout the weight cut," Lee said. "I damn near killed myself making the weight. I think it's time for me to go up [to welterweight]. The staph infection was a little too much for me to handle. I should've been on antibiotics but what can I say?”
"Tony was the better man tonight,” he added of his opponent. “Whatever I'm going through, don't take away from what he did. His bottom work, he's the man. I hope he goes out there and gets the job done."
All the while Ferguson had his mind on other things following his win, directing his energy toward Conor McGregor soon after, having less amicable words for the fighter. “Where are you at McNuggets? You fucking piece of shit. I'm going to kick your ass," Ferguson said in the microphone following his victory, challenging McGregor. "You better come and fucking defend that belt. Defend or vacate motherfucker.”
"It's my time and my belt,” he declared. “Come and get this shit.”
Naturally, Twitter’s reaction to the fight and aftermath can’t be missed. Check out the top responses below.
If the UFC was smart, they'd put Tony and Khabib on the same card as McGregor Diaz 3, it would build them into bigger stars. #UFC216— A. Asher (@Grammaticator) October 8, 2017
Conor McGregor vs. Tony Ferguson is endlessly fascinating to me on so many levels. The lead-up, the fight. I really hope we get to see it.— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) October 8, 2017
Great look for Nevada. Kevin Lee admits he has staph infection. Fought Tony Ferguson with it. Tried to cut weight with it. Good lord.— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) October 8, 2017
If McGregor doesn't KO Tony Ferguson in 2 rounds, Tony is going to win. Ferguson's cardio and relentlessness will break Conor. #UFC216— Josiah Jones (@jaysquared90) October 8, 2017
I cannot make this clearer. Kevin Lee has to be **INSANELY** strong to have recovered top position in that first ground scramble. UNREAL!— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) October 8, 2017
Holy shit. Kevin Lee just admitted he did have staph infection. And they let him fight. Holy shit that's the worst thing.— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) October 8, 2017
Kevin Lee vs McGregor trash talk would be epic. Just saying #UF216— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 8, 2017
Kevin Lee is made out of plastic!— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) October 8, 2017
Dana White again shoots down the idea of a 165lb division. Says Kevin Lee should've "cut weight the right way" at the UFC PI.— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) October 8, 2017