Kevin Lee believes Tony Ferguson will be crowned the undisputed UFC lightweight champion
Khabib Nurmagomedov might have opened as the early favorite to beat Tony Ferguson in their upcoming lightweight title bout, but top-ten contender Kevin Lee believes ‘El Cucuy’ has what it takes to hand the Dagestani his first ever loss at UFC 223.
Lee, 25, fought Ferguson for the interim lightweight strap at last year’s UFC 216 PPV at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. ‘The Motown Phenom’ started off strong but faded towards the end of the second round and was eventually choked out in the third.
Having been on the receiving end of Ferguson’s unorthodox striking and slick Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Lee predicts the interim champ will eliminate Khabib in April and go on to ‘beat the hell’ out of Conor McGregor at a later date.
“Khabib’s the number one contender, and Conor’s sitting on the outside for that” Lee told BJPenn.com in a recent interview. “I don’t know. I like that [Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov] fight. I think that fight’s a lot more interesting than people give it credit for. I don’t know. I think Tony will be better all around, and be able to wear down on Khabib, and then he’ll go out there, he’ll beat the hell out of Conor, and I think I’m [going to] squeeze my way up in there one way or another.”
McGregor, 29, is still listed as the official lightweight champ but UFC president Dana White stated that the the winner of Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson would be crowned undisputed champion.
As for Lee, the NCAA Division II wrestling standout will be keeping a keen eye on how things unfold in the coming months.
“It’s going to be interesting,” he said. “That’s why I’ve been sitting back, trying to see how this whole thing shakes out, and get in where I do. Yeah, right now, like I said, I’m sitting on it. I’m getting a lot of different looks, changing up a lot of stuff. We’ll see where it’s going to land. We’ll see where it’s going. I don’t know. I’m looking to those three. Those are the big three. Ferguson right now is the one that I’m really gunning for, and I realize that it’s a good three wins away from that, but we going to see.”
UFC 223 is set to feature the highly anticipated match-up between Ferguson and Nurmagomedov in the main event and is scheduled to take place on April 7 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.