It’s time for the UFC 216 main event, with TUF winner Tony Ferguson scrapping with Kevin Lee for an interim lightweight belt – interim because Conor McGregor holds the real belt, and McGregor is too busy counting his boxing money to be bothered with MMA right now.
Ferguson deserves to be here, having accumulated a hell of a win streak and taken out former champs. Lee maybe doesn’t deserve it so much, but with Khabib Nurmagomedov in limbo, this is the best it gets.
The first round sees both men flex their striking muscle, with kicks and punches going out at all directions. Lee gets dropped in one of the exchanges, so he switches to grappling mode and brings things to the canvas. He has to fend off an omoplata, but he manages some ground and pound before scrambling overtakes them. Lee stays on top and drops some heat, and then it’s the horn.
They continue to blaze away with strikes in Round 2, and while he manages to score quite a bit, Lee is starting to slow. Ferguson begins to really take chunks out of him with punches, leaving Lee with a bloody nose.
Lee adjusts and really commits to those takedowns in the third, and when he does get his foe down, he pounds on him where he can. But Ferguson is elite for a reason, and despite being on his back, he’s able to capitalize on any openings that present themselves – including a triangle choke that ultimately Lee has to tap to.
Results: Tony Ferguson def. Kevin Lee via Submission (Armbar) at 4:02, R3