Kevin Lee has no shortage of confidence leading into his interim lightweight title fight with Tony Ferguson at UFC 216.
The winner will be one step closer in getting a coveted but elusive fight with Conor McGregor, who still holds the 155-pound belt.
Lee expressed his thoughts at a recent UFC 216 media event via MMA Fighting on the significance of the interim title he and Ferguson will be fighting for and how “The Notorious” factors into the equation:
“I think it already is for the real championship, People talk about that, like, Conor being, to me, he’s got to prove to me he’s ready to fight.
“As far as I’m concerned the man has lost three of his last four fights,” Lee said. “I don’t even think beat Nate Diaz the second time. I like a big challenge, so he’s gotta show me a little bit. He’s a small dude, too, he’s 145. He was getting out-wrestled by a dude who’s 40 years old and a boxer. He was getting him in the clinches and out-wrestling him. I mean, he was, he’s gotta show a little bit more than that to me.
“I mean it will be on my terms, It will be on my timetable. You know, I’m expecting to take this fight. I’m doing the hard work. I’m doing the heavy lifting. I’m fighting Tony. Nobody wanted to fight Tony. Conor didn’t want to fight Tony. It will be on my timetable, I’ll tell him when we gonna fight. If we fight on St. Patrick’s Day? Maybe. That might make some good business so I don’t know, I’ll see.”
Lee and Ferguson will settle their differences on October 7th in the main event of UFC 216. Meanwhile, McGregor is contemplating his next move after falling short against Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match in August.
McGregor has not defended the lightweight belt since winning it after TKOing Eddie Alvarez back at UFC 205.
Talks of a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz also hang in the balance, meaning the winner of the interim title is not guaranteed a shot at McGregor.