Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is creating an interim lightweight title because Conor McGregor has yet to defend his 155-pound strap and won’t commit to a return date, so the promotion was forced to keep the assembly line moving.
Putting Tony Ferguson into the UFC 216 pay-per-view (PPV) main event made sense from a rankings standpoint, as “El Cucuy” is ranked No. 2 in the division, but a few eyebrows were raised when it was announced the Kevin Lee, ranked No. 7, would be his opponent.
That said, the rankings don’t mean shit, according to the defiant “Motown Phenom,” who had a few choice words for the mixed martial arts (MMA) media during Thursday’s pre-fight gathering in “Sin City.”
Transcribed by MMA Fighting:
“Them rankings, they don’t matter. Y’all make the rankings. I don’t give a fuck about them rankings. The only thing everybody above us in this division got on me is some years, is some time. That’s it. So, when you look at the rankings, they don’t really matter. You look at some of these dudes who are in the top 25, top 30, they’re tough enough, they would beat any of the guys in the top five. They got Nate Diaz, who’s got 10, 11 losses, in the top five. It don’t make sense. They’ve got Justin Gaethje, who’s only got one fight against — apparently beating Mike Johnson in this game is really something, because you’ve got Khabib (Nurmagomedov) up there at No. 1 and [he doesn’t] fight, you’ve got Gaethje with one fight up above me. The rankings don’t even mean shit. So you can say I’m No. 7. You can say whatever you want to say. I say I’m No. 1 and it’s going to be proven on Oct. 7.”
See the top 15 at 155 pounds right here.
Lee (16-2) is the winner of five straight, finishing his last four victims by way of knockout or submission. Ferguson (22-3) has captured nine in a row, turning away two former champions in the process.
UFC 216 takes place Oct. 7, 2017 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.