Tony Ferguson was crowned the UFC’s interim lightweight champion tonight at UFC 216 after submitting Kevin Lee with a triangle choke.
The main event interim lightweight title fight is underway in Las Vegas!
Lee with a few fakes and then comes in with a head kick that partially connects. Now a body kick for Lee, then soon after a right hand.
Leg kick from Ferguson at just the right time knocks Lee of balance. Lee with a few shots that don’t land. Ferguson with a kick.
Lee lands with a straight right and Ferguson is down for a brief moment, but he immediately gets back up and soon after returns the favor by dropping Lee with a punch!
Lee is back up to his feet too and seems fine.
Lee with a takedown, but Ferguson scrambles to almost get on top, then Lee adjusts to make sure he does eventually get on top.
Ferguson immediately working his jiu-jitsu game, but Lee is patient and soon finds himself in full guard. Ferguson thinks about throwing his legs up for an armbar, but it’s not there and Lee starts to improve his position, getting to side control and then mount.
Lee dropping down hard elbows and he’s got a strong base here. More hard elbows land and then Ferguson scrambles out as the round is ending. However, Lee clearly landed a punch after the bell there and was trying to go for another as the ref stepped in.
Ferguson with a right hand to start the second. He tries for a head kick that’s blocked, and now Lee returns with a head kick of his own.
Front kick to the body from Ferguson. Hands from both just missing then a jab lands solidly for Lee. Kick to the body then a punch from Ferguson, but Lee also lands with a counter.
Huge srapwl from Ferguson to avoid Lee’s shot. Solid body kick from Lee. Front kicks to the body from Ferguson.
Straight punches from Ferguson now. Body kick for Lee. Right hand gets through for Ferguson. Ferguson with a good right hand.
Lee steps into a big elbow strike from Ferguson and that puts him on his heels for a moment. Uppercut from Ferguson and a head kick in return from lee.
Jab for Ferguson. Left hand from Lee. Front kick to the midsection from Ferguson, harder body kick from Lee.
Ferguson stuffs a takedown nicely. Body kick for Lee, leg kick in response from Ferguson. Lee looks a little weary as he goes back to his corner at the end of the round.
Ferguson talking to Lee before the round even starts. Lee in on an early takedown here though and hoists Ferguson up into the air and slams him down.
Lee in Ferguson’s guard, but not able to get too much off and then Ferguson kicks him off and gets back to his feet.
Leg kick for Lee. left hand for Ferguson. That front kick to the body now. Ferguson stalking Lee, but not putting together a lot of offense so far.
Head kick attempt from Lee misses. Lee lands another takedown. However, Ferguson goes for an armbar and it looks bad for Lee, but he steps over to save his limb and ends up on top.
Lee tired as he’s in Ferguson’s guard and that’s a dangerous place to be. Ferguson takes advantage and goes for the triangle choke and he gets it easily.
Lee looks burnt out here all of a sudden and being trapped in Ferguson’s slick choke he has no option but to tap.
So, Ferguson is the new interim lightweight champion and he earned it with a hard-fought battle against a challenging opponent in Lee. The question now is whether he’s done enough to catch the attention of lightweight champion Conor McGregor.