There’s more to the UFC than Conor McGregor and there is certainly more to the 155lb division than the man who has just lost to Floyd Mayweather. If you don’t believe us, just take a look at the recently announced line-up for UFC 217 where Tony Ferguson is taking on Kevin Lee.
Both of these men would have been disheartened to hear McGregor, the current champion in that weight class, name check Nate Diaz after his fight against ‘Money’ Mayweather. Ferguson particularly will feel as though he is due a top fight against McGregor and will not be happy that Diaz may get the chance to jump the queue.
However, Ferguson will be pleased that he is getting the chance to fight for a belt of sorts – the interim title. Many would have thought that he would be taking on Khabib for this honor, but Lee has jumped the list after the Russian fighter repeatedly demonstrated to the UFC top brass that he could not be relied upon.
Tony Ferguson’s form
Ferguson has been one of the stand out performers in the entire organization over the past few years. He has repeatedly shown than he is an unorthodox and dogged performer, who knows how to get the win against even the toughest performers.
His last fight came against a Rafael Dos Anjos who had just lost his title. The fact that Ferguson was able to come out of that battle with a win really demonstrates how much he has developed as a fighter. He hasn’t lost since 2012, when Michael Johnson creeped a win against him and he will genuinely believe that he can keep that impressive run going.
Kevin Lee’s form
Many have sighted Kevin Lee as the UFC’s next potential superstar; he can talk, he looks good and he is also more than capable in the octagon. His 16-2 record is made all the more impressive by his age – Lee is only 24.
He is coming off an impressive first round submission win against Michael Chiesa. That fight was slightly controversial because of the ref, but Lee can only beat what is put in front of him and he did an excellent job against Lee.
The fact that Khabib is not being considered for the interim title will have irked many UFC fans. The Russian fighter has struggled to make weight on several occasions and it is obvious that Dana White and co no longer think he is a reliable fighter. Lee has never been shy when it comes to trash talking, so don’t be surprised to see him bring out the verbal warfare prior to this fight.
Ferguson has been working his way towards this for what seems like an eternity now and we don’t envisage him surrendering his opportunity to Lee. We think he may lose to either McGregor or Khabib in the following fight, but Lee is not at that level, so Ferguson should have enough to get the win.