Kevin Lee was a guest recently on “Submission Radio” to discuss his interim UFC lightweight title fight vs. Tony Ferguson and Conor McGregor.

If Lee was surprised with McGregor’s performance against Floyd Mayweather

“No, I thought he did exactly what he was (supposed to do). I think I kind of even called it, even on MMA Junkie, but I thought he did what he was supposed to do. You know, it’s just a different sport and it’s hard to jump up to a 12-round championship-level fight like that with a guy as smart and as experienced as Mayweather. Like, it’s just, it was nothing that he could really do to bridge that gap. I honestly would have felt like he could have done better with someone like Canelo or GGG, where they don’t have that same level of experience that Mayweather has. But as far as like the actual fight itself, I thought it went just how, you know, I thought Floyd had his way with him just how he wanted.”

Lee’s thoughts on McGregor’s cardio issues and if he sees that as a big key to beating McGregor

“Yeah, I mean, let’s be honest, the man got walked down by a 40-year-old dude that weighs 150 pounds. I’ve stood next to Floyd Mayweather, he’s my little brother’s size and he’s a 125-pounder. I mean, he got backed up. I thought before the fight that it was going to be McGregor that was doing the stance switches and being able to fight out of both stances, and it turns out, like, the man can’t fight as well from orthodox as he says he can because it was Mayweather who was the one switching stances on him and hitting him with the southpaw jabs and straight lefts, you know, it was Mayweather that mixed it up a little bit more. I guess that kind of surprised me even more. As far as his cardio, I mean, wrestling is the most tiring thing there is and he’s in there getting tired against a man who weighs 150 pounds. I’m a 185-pound behemoth. He talked about how he’s a gorilla. Ain’t no gorillas in Ireland. It’s nothing but sheep and fluffy grass. Like, I’m a real-life 185-pound gorilla. Once I get my hands on him, it’s just gonna wear him down. I’m so used to, I’ve been wrestling for so many years and for so long there’s no way he’s going to be able to keep that pace. He got tired just throwing punches, and the man started out as an amateur boxer. I would never, you would never see me in a wrestling match tired. It’s just what I do. So I mean, it’s just a different set of lungs.”

On fans not thinking that Lee deserves the interim title fight

“Fans think that because fans are stupid. Most fans are stupid. You know, they don’t really follow the sport that well, they just kind of… yeah, I mean, to be honest, I think five million people or something watched the Floyd and McGregor fight and they just don’t know about fighting. They’re stupid. You might have 100,000 out of them that actually know about fighting. So I don’t give a fuck what a fan think. I’m definitely the next guy in line. There was no one, I mean, who else were you going to point to and say they’re next? Nate don’t wanna fight nobody. Edson’s already out hurt. Eddie and Justin are gonna beat themselves into retirement. They’re not really championship-level fighters either. You can’t really build much off of them. They aren’t gonna be around too long with taking the kind of damage that they take. So I think the UFC is a brilliant promoter. They know what they’re doing, they know the future when they see it and they saw it.”

On being the main event for UFC 216

“It makes perfect sense. I think it’s one of the most marketable fights in the UFC right now. Especially when you consider this whole Mayweather-McGregor thing, because this will be – I mean, make no mistake, like, people are throwing around Nate Diaz and people are trying to say that he’s gonna come back and fight Khabib. Like, no. This is for the next challenger. I mean, it just is. There’s no other logical choice, especially once October 7th comes around. I mean, the buzz around this fight alone is gonna be enough to push the next person up above Nate or Khabib or whoever people think that he’s gonna come back and fight is ridiculous. So I think it has all the makings of a main event and I think they saw that and that’s what they’re gonna rock with.”

What the initial sticking point was that made Lee go back and forth with the UFC over his new contract

“Yeah, I mean, I’m happy with it. I’m not gonna hold you up, I’m happy with it. The initial was, you know, they didn’t want to give me… I mean, look, I’ll just say this, I’m happy. At the end of the day, they came with a number and I was like, “okay, that’s what I’ve been talking about. Like, let’s go”. So that’s all I can really say. I can’t get into too much with it.”

If it was just the money or if there was anything else in the contract in terms of stipulations that made Lee happy

“Oh no, I mean, that’s what it is. But you damn sure right I got a Conor McGregor clause in there, so I’m even happier with that.”

What the Conor McGregor clause is in Lee’s contract

“It sounds like Santa Claus, that’s what it is (laughs).”

If the “McGregor clause” guarantees that he gets McGregor in his next fight

“That’s the fight to make regardless, whether you’re looking at it from an entertainment standpoint or you look at it from a sporting perspective. I’ll be the interim champion. Regardless, within a month I’m gonna be a world champion and it’s gonna be a for the real world championship. So afterwards, I might even, you know, I’m gonna look at my options. As far I’m concerned, McGregor just got beat up by a 40-year-old man, he kind of gotta prove himself a little bit. Like, he has the money and all that, it’s gonna be good, it’s gonna be great, but from a competitor standpoint, Tony is the toughest fight in this division. He’s been that way for a long time. These kind of fights is what get me up. If somebody comes around I feel like they’re the tougher fight, then I mean, look, he gotta prove himself to me. So I might give him a shot at the real championship depending on what he talking about and how the numbers look and how he bounces back.”

If Lee thinks he’d make the most money fighting McGregor considering that historically he’s been such a big draw

“Historically. That’s historically. But before him there was somebody else and before that there was somebody else. You know, like I’ve been saying for this whole year, all these dudes have been chasing money fights and it just doesn’t make any sense to me. Regardless, look, I’m going in there with a tough-ass fucking Mexican that’s gonna be looking to take my head off, you know, with an iron jaw and he’s got an endless gas tank. So he’s the toughest fight. To me, that’s what gets me up more. As far as like a money fight, like the money’s gonna be… look, it might be different, but it’s not gonna be that different versus Conor. I mean, you’re talking about extra $200,000, $300,000 (dollars). I mean, it ain’t gonna be – look, I’m making a million versus whoever I face. If I end up fighting Khabib after this, I’m still gonna be making millions. So I mean, look, it’s only gonna build. The smarter guy, patience is a virtue, you know what I’m saying? So I ain’t been chasing after nobody. These motherfuckers are chasing after me. I tell you that. I’ll tell you, Conor McGregor has been a fan of mine for a long time and he’s been watching my film and he’s been studying me because he’s trying to get ahead of the next generation the same way that I’m trying to get ahead of the next generation, these 21-year-old kids that are coming up. So I ain’t really chasing him a bit. And the bottom line, he’ll come back, he’ll chase me. He’ll chase me before, you know – I mean, he want the easy fights. That’s just what it is. The luck of the Irish is a motherfucker because he keeps getting them. So he might come back and fight somebody like Khabib who hasn’t beaten anybody in the top 10 and has only fought Michael Johnson and someone who made their UFC debut in the last like four years. In that same time I put in 10 UFC fights and fought all these different contenders and champions. So, he might pull for the easier money fight, but that’s just gonna make it even better for me, cause look, I’m getting better, he’s getting older, he’s getting slower, he’s getting weaker, he’s focusing on boxing. This whole time while he’s been focusing on boxing, I’ve been breaking down his game. So the longer he takes, the more ass whooping he gonna get. He better catch me while I’m young.”

If Lee think Conor should be stripped of the title if he returns and fights somebody like Nate Diaz or Khabib or anyone other than the interim champion

“No, I think he should hold on to… I mean, no. I wouldn’t even call for it. I wouldn’t object to it. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll be the undisputed champion. So I really could give a damn what they consider his baby boy title. He did his thing down there, and like I said, he had a hell of a luck of a draw in getting to fight Eddie Alvarez in his first fight. At the end of the day, how can I hate?”

If there’s dislike towards Tony or if it’s just a competitive rivalry

“I mean, it’s both now. He made it personal by walking up on me at international fight week. It just ain’t gonna be no disrespect without no retaliation from me. If he doing shit like that, I’m gonna give it back to him. So I guess you could say it’s a mixture of both. I mean, I just told the man straight up like it is, his analyst skills are terrible. So the man, he’s not that bright. We both went to the same college. The guy ain’t that smart. So he knows that.”

What Lee saw in Ferguson’s eyes during the media day staredown

“Hesitation. That’s what I saw. I saw straight through those little cheap 10-dollar glasses that he likes to wear with the headphones. Hesitation, I saw him. Look, I saw it, we saw it, he knows. So we’ll see October 7th.”

Lee’s thoughts on Ferguson saying he’s finishing him with a D’arce choke

“I mean, he trys to finish everybody with that weak-ass D’arce choke. I mean, apparently the man believes in it, but he ain’t never faced nobody like me. He’s never faced a wrestler like me. He’s never faced somebody with the movement that I’ve had, especially a weak-ass D’arce choke. And look, if he gonna go for that D’arce, I’m gonna pick him up over my head and I’m gonna Rampage his ass.”

Lee’s biggest advantages over Ferguson

“I mean, Tony’s a tough motherfucker. I will give him that. He is hands down the toughest guy in this division and the toughest fight. You ask anybody else in this division, they don’t wana fight Tony. He’s weird, he’s awkward, he’s very hard to time, he does a lot of these strange rolls and spins. It’s so hard for me to even set up a training camp around a guy like that because there’s nobody that moves like that and does it good. People move like that and I beat the fuck out of them. So I’m gonna do the same thing to Tony. But it’s weird, he makes it very effective. So I think that’s what kind of gets me up most about this fight. Even more so than yeah, okay, you know, main event, blah blah blah, you know, title blah, you know, a little bit more money. But it’s also the challenge. This man, he can fight, and like I said, he has a hell of a chin, he has an endless gas tank and he doesn’t break mentally too. That’s what kind of got me up about the Chiesa fight too, I knew Chiesa wouldn’t break mentally and you even saw that in the fight. I broke him physically, like, there’s nothing that you can do when a man has his hands around your throat, but he even, even after getting choked unconscious he was still trying to get up and fight. I respect somebody like that. So I feel like Tony is the same way and he’s gonna make me have to break him physically even more so than mentally. There’s certain guys that could be broken mentally. Conor, he breaks mentally in the fights. When you look at someone like Tony, you just don’t break mentally. You look at someone like Conor or Edson Barboza. Like, a lot of these guys, they just break. So I like fighting these dudes that keep it pushing no matter what.”

If there’s a good chance Kevin thinks he’ll be ready to go again in December to fight Conor McGregor at UFC 219

“Yeah, you know, of course. Like I said, Tony’s a dog, so I might take a little bit of damage. I’m already expecting that going into the fight, so we’ll see after. But I think my perfect scenario would be after I whoop up on Tony I take out Khabib too in December 2nd on the UFC Detroit card. They still don’t have a headliner for that bad boy. So if I want on it, I’m on it. So I kind of like that – take out both the number one contenders, both guys that will be favoured over Conor and then we’ll really make some money next year.”

Prediction over Ferguson

“ Ima fuck Tony up. I might even show out on the man a little bit. You know, apparently the fans don’t really know my skills like that. They only see me fight Chiesa, and the man got up out of there in one round. I didn’t even plan on taking Chiesa to the ground. So look, Ima fuck Tony up. I didn’t even use my A-game verse Chiesa, so I might go out there, I might show off my A-game a little bit and not even try to put this man away.”