Tony Ferguson finishes Kevin Lee to become UFC interim lightweight champion
No one in the history of the UFC's lightweight division has won as many consecutive fights as Tony Ferguson.
There are no easy routes to UFC gold, but Tony Ferguson has had one of the toughest. It took 'El Cucuy' 14 fights and 10 straight finishes to finally get that coveted golden strap wrapped around his waist.
It wasn't all smooth sailing for 'El Cucuy' who faced heavy pressure from Kevin Lee in the opening rounds. 'The Motown Phenom' came out like he had a point to prove, having success on the feet and with his takedowns to take the opening stanza. After getting on top towards the end of the round, he went to work with ferocious ground and pound, but was warned by referee Herb Dean for landing a late blow.
The tide began to turn in the second as Ferguson began to grow into the contest. By edging the hot prospect in the stand-up battle, he did enough to level things up heading into the third round.
Lee was visibly exhausted coming back off his stool. The staph infection on his pec and the tough weight cut definitely played a factor, but despite the inactivity of late, Ferguson always has a deep, deep gas tank. It all went pear-shaped for Lee when he went for a takedown midway through the round. Ferguson attacked with an armbar, but his opponent managed to step right over it. However, he was not able to escape the triangle choke that brought proceedings to an end.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) October 8, 2017
The victory saw Ferguson improve his record to 23-3 and that shiny piece of gold in his trophy cabinet may well result in a title unification bout against Conor McGregor. When asked about the prospect of fighting 'the Notorious' in his Octagon interview with Joe Rogan, Ferguson sent the Dubliner a clear message.
"Where you at McNugget, you fucking piece of shit? I'm going to kick your ass! Defend or vacate, motherfucker!"
If McGregor was serious about legitimising the title, that's the fight to make. Diaz III can wait, that belt needs to be unified.