In the absence of UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, the promotion has implemented an interim 155-pound title between top-ranked competitors Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee.
The fight will serve as the main event of UFC 216 on pay-per-view (PPV) from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada next month (Sat. October 7, 2017). The winner of the bout is assumed to take on McGregor upon his return to mixed martial arts (MMA) action, while most believe the Irishman’s next Octagon stint will come in the form of a trilogy bout against Nate Diaz.
Ex-UFC lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez recently joined the UFC Unfiltered podcast to discuss the interim title bout, and claimed that at this point the UFC is simply ‘throwing sh*t at the wall and hope it sticks’ (quotes via MMA Mania):
“It seems like with the interim belt, and the guys that are fighting for the interim belt, it just seems like they are throwing shit at the wall and hope it sticks. It seems that is where we are. I mean, the champion is not fighting, so these are the things you have to do while you wait. So we’re just trying to make a matchup here.
“In the meantime, me and Justin Gaethje is the biggest matchup in the lightweight division, the most exciting, even before this interim belt with these guys who are fighting. Me and Justin will be the most exciting fight in the division in the next couple of months until the champion comes back to defend the belt. So, right now were just buying time and trying to make a move becasue we are all going to be chasing after him.”