The UFC’s lightweight division has been in turmoil as of late. UFC superstar Conor McGregor earned the lightweight title with a finish over Eddie Alvarez back in 2016, but never defended his belt.
Having had enough, the promotion finally offered an interim title fight back at UFC 216. Kevin Lee and Tony Ferguson battled it out in the match up, with “El Cucuy” ultimately defeating his opponent for the interim title.
With McGregor still not scheduled for an octagon return, the UFC went on to lock in Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov in a fight for the undisputed title at UFC 223. However, interim champion Tony Ferguson would go on to injure himself just days away from the fight.
Consequently, the UFC made an unexpected move and decided to strip both Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson of their titles so Khabib Nurmagomedov could face his replacement opponent at UFC 223 for the undisputed belt.
After UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway was not able to finish his weight cut, Al Iaquinta went on to fight “The Eagle” on just one day’s notice. Iaquinta was not ranked in the top ten of the lightweight division when he fought Nurmagomedov.
Still, the Dagestani native was crowned the new undisputed UFC lightweight champion following his unanimous decision victory over Iaquinta. Now Kevin Lee has come forward with his thoughts on the matter.
Speaking to MMA Weekly, Lee offered his opinion.
“100-percent. It’s undeniable. Even if they did take the belt away from him, the man’s the champ. I give credit where credit is due. Right now, that’s where it is. I think especially after you see that fight cause Tony would give it to Khabib. I give credit where credit is due and I know who is the man to chase.
“Khabib, if I’ve got to go through him to get to Tony, yeah. We’ll see how the whole thing shakes out.”
“I think the man to beat is still Tony Ferguson. You’ve got to put him at No. 1. They’re going to have Conor [McGregor] fight Khabib for an imaginary title and then Tony’s going to come back and I don’t know who he’s going to fight. It’s a lot of confusion being added right now.
“I take full responsibility for that not showing up healthy against Tony last October. That confused people even more. We’re going to see how things shake out.”