On October 7th, 2017, the UFC once again rolls in to the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC 216: Ferguson vs. Lee.
As most of the MMA world knows, Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson has been in line for a shot at current Lightweight Champion “The Notorious” Conor McGregor for quite some time now. However, with McGregor chasing his money fight with FLoyd “Money” Mayweather, UFC President Dana White scheduled an interim lightweight title fight between Ferguson and rising star “The MoTownPhenom” Kevin Lee.
Ferguson enters the bout on a nine fight winning streak and with an overall record of 22-3. Ferguson was scheduled to face Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0) at UFC 209, however Khabib was pulled from the fight after failing to make weight and being hospitalized.
Kevin Lee heads to UFC 216 on a five fight win streak and with an overall record of 16-2. His last win came against Michael Chiesa by RNC at UFC Fight Night 112 in OKC. Lee has made some noise in the UFC and has made it clear that his plans involve the lightweight strap.
Ferguson and Lee have gone back and forth on social media as well as during a Kevin Lee post fight interview on FS1. One would assume that the winner of the interim title fight would be next to challenge Conor McGregor. Well…… I wouldn’t be too sure about that.
During a recent interview, McGregor’s striking coach Owen Roddy stated he would love to see the trilogy conclude between McGregor and Nate Diaz. During his post fight interview, McGregor said that now that Mayweather is behind him, many options have been presented. However, he also feels the Nate Diaz trilogy should be next. Nate’s coach Richard Perez has said that Diaz wants at least 20-30 million dollars to compete with McGregor.
With demands like that, it would seem that from a business standpoint, that McGregor vs. Diaz III is on the back burner for now and a unification bout for the lightweight title may be imminent.
For now, Ferguson and Lee will have to play itself out, while McGregor attempts to work his magic with the UFC Brass.