The main event at UFC 216 saw top contenders Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee go at it for the interim lightweight belt in front of a packed T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
It feels like Ferguson has been on the cusp of a title shot for years now and before this showdown he let it be known that whoever got the victory should be next in line to fight Conor McGregor for the title.
“The next fight for Conor should be whoever wins this interim lightweight title,” Ferguson said before the fight. “Regardless of winning or losing this, myself or if it’s Kevin Lee, that b*tch [McGregor] needs to defend or vacate and he needs to unify that belt. Anything else, with as far as him trying to fight Nate and everything else, that’s the bullsh*t rankings and everything else that the UFC stands for just [going] out the window, man.”
Ferguson (22-3 before this fight) was in red-hot form coming into this one, having won his previous nine fights in a row with his last four wins coming over Josh Thomson, Edson Barboza, Lando Vannata, and Rafael dos Anjos.
Always one to put in a crowd-pleasing performance, in his previous five fights, the Michigan native picked up three Fight of the Night and three Performance of the Night bonuses.
His opponent has seen his star rise in recent times too: Lee (16-2 before this fight) came into this one on a five fight winning streak.
Four of those wins came by way of a stoppage (three submissions and one TKO) with two Performance of the Night bonuses for his efforts.
Fans could be forgiven for expecting a barn burner, here…
The first round was full of fireworks, with both men landing big clean shots as the round was mostly spent on the feet.
After Lee took the first round, Tony appeared to take control in the second round as Lee looked to start gassing quite fast, using the jab and taking the fight to the ground.
In the third round, Lee took Tony to the ground, but a patient Tony was able to get back to his feet and eventually take Lee down.
Here’s how the fight finished:
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