It wasn’t easy, but Tony Ferguson submitted Kevin Lee to captured UFC gold for the first time in his career.
The stage was set for the main event of UFC 216. Ferguson and Lee did battle inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two competed for the interim UFC lightweight title.
Lee connected with a high kick early. A right hand landed for Lee. Ferguson kicked the leg of his opponent, which had Lee off balanced. A jab was there for Ferguson. Lee landed a punch and Ferguson felt he was poked on his way down. Ferguson dropped his opponent momentarily.
They traded kicks. The Lee got a takedown, but they engaged in a scramble. Ferguson went for a triangle choke. He held onto the arm of his opponent. A cut formed above the right eye of Ferguson. Lee wound up in full guard. He then moved to the north-south position.
Lee decided to move to side control and transitioned to full mount. He dropped some hard elbows. Ferguson was able to hold on until the horn sounded. Lee threw a strike well after the horn and referee Herb Dean gave him a stern warning.
Ferguson landed a right hand over the top early in the second stanza. A jab found the mark for Ferguson. Lee got popped with another jab. Ferguson looked to find his range and he thwarted a takedown attempt. A body kick was there for Lee. Another clean jab connected for Ferguson.
Ferguson keep finding a home for his jab. Lee walked right into an elbow. A right hand connected for Lee. Blood trickled from the nose of Lee. He shot in for a takedown, but Ferguson shoved him off. This was a much better round for “El Cucuy.”
Lee blocked a head kick early in round three. Lee lifted his opponent up and dumped him down. Ferguson avoided damage and got back to his feet quickly. He missed an uppercut, but avoided the grappling. Ferguson ducked a high kick.
Another takedown was there for Lee. Ferguson locked in an armbar, but Lee stepped over to avoid damage. Ferguson dropped down elbows from full guard. He locked in a triangle and Lee was forced to submit.
Final Result: Tony Ferguson def. Kevin Lee via submission (triangle choke) – R3, 4:02