It was another close call at Friday's weigh-ins, as Kevin Lee waited until the last minute to weigh in, but Saturday night's main event at UFC 216 is intact, and Tony Ferguson can finally step inside the Octagon to fight someone.
The interim 155-pound belt is up for grabs as Lee takes on Ferguson in what many regard as a fight of the night contender. Lee has an underrated grappling and jiu-jitsu game, while Ferguson is a jack-of-all-trades who can finish any fighter with a spinning back-fist or a submission with relative ease.
There has been no shortage of trash talk in the lead-up to this title fight, starting off during international fight week when the two men went face-to-face and began jawing at each other. That continued into Friday's official weigh-in as Lee berated Ferguson with insults to avail as Ferguson had his headphones in listening to music.
FOX Sports: UFC @UFCONFOX
Kevin Lee made weight (whew!) and Tony Ferguson's listening to old school. Oh, and the tension is THICK! #UFC216 https://t.co/lcRBcnqSbY2017-10-7 00:28:17
That's one way to get inside of your opponent's head, I guess.
Lee and Ferguson, with the exception of Khabib Nurmagomedov, have two of the longest winning streaks in the UFC lightweight division. Ferguson hasn't fought since dominating former champion Rafael dos Anjos in an impressive decision victory last November.
But that's not Ferguson's fault, as he's had bouts with Nurmagomedov cancelled. Tiramisu, anyone?
Lee, on the other hand, has been active, and why not? He's 24 years old with a lot of charisma. Whether you love or hate Lee, it's hard to argue that the man puts on a show when he's inside the Octagon.
And coming off an impressive finish over Michael Chiesa, regardless of whether Chiesa was going to tap or not, Lee put himself in the position to make the UFC decide what to do with them in terms of a title shot or a title eliminator bout.
Both fighters have unique personalities and unique skillsets, and it's hard to see either fighter wearing out since both Lee and Ferguson are highly regarded as two of the fittest fighters in the division.
The only thing that could affect Lee's cardio is the pace Ferguson will set. Lee is accustomed to being an aggressor at times, but Ferguson never stops moving forward; even if that means he gets clipped.
El Cucuy is muy loco, and that's no joke.
Lee hasn't fought anyone of Ferguson's caliber since entering the UFC, and Ferguson believes he will finish Lee, which would be Ferguson's 18th career finish if his prediction comes true.
Speaking of fight predictions, let's not waste any more time here. Let's take a quick look at tonight's fight card.
Main Card (PPV at 10 p.m. ET)
Prelims (FXX at 8 p.m. ET)
Odds are courtesy of OddsShark.
They call him the boogeyman for a reason.
Ferguson is as dangerous and wild as any fighter in the UFC, regardless of weight class. Not only is he incredibly skilled in the art of striking, but he is also one of the most skilled jiu-jitsu practitioners in MMA, training out of Eddie Bravo's 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu academy.
Tony Ferguson says his ‘f*cking genius’ style is simply ‘the next stage in everybody’s evolution’ (@shaunalshatti) https://t.co/sMXy8uUzWM https://t.co/bCgKExF5zq2017-10-6 15:00:30
Ferguson will come forward immediately against Lee. He'll be looking to make a statement to the rest of the 155-pound division, including champion Conor McGregor, that he's looking to become the unified champion and be the champ the division deserves.
Ferguson will back Lee up against the cage and establish the jab. He will work into the clinch where Lee will try to get the under hooks in for a takedown, only to be stuffed by a Ferguson elbow to the jaw.
Dazed, Lee will stumble and look to clinch again, allowing Ferguson to bring Lee to the ground and gain top mount. Some ground-and-pound will do the dirty work that Ferguson needs to force Lee to defend himself, allowing Ferguson to secure the rear-naked choke for the finish.
This won't be a long fight, nor will it be a back-and-forth exchange. Ferguson has been waiting for this moment for a long time, and Lee won't be good enough to do anything about it. Ferguson will become the interim 155-pound champion and will await the UFC's decision to feed him either Nurmagomedov or McGregor.
Either way, Ferguson comes out top with the first-round finish.view original article >>
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