Kevin Lee Says Tony Ferguson Needs Him: 'I'll Help Him Out' With Rematch

Kevin Lee Says Tony Ferguson Needs Him: 'I'll Help Him Out' With Rematch

UFC lightweight contender Kevin Lee discusses potential fights with Al Iaquinta, Justin Gaethje, Tony Ferguson, and more.

Oct 9, 2018 by FloCombat Staff

While three top-six fighters threw down Saturday at UFC 229, a fourth, No. 5-ranked Kevin Lee, watched and waited. 

With the card headlined by a lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor and former champ Tony Ferguson facing Anthony Pettis in the co-main event, Lee's focus rested firmly at the top of the card. 

In fact, he was prepared to save the day if one of the fighters struggled on the scales. 

"I was prepared to make weight this morning," Lee told FloCombat at the UFC headquarters in Las Vegas. "I spent yesterday already getting myself down within about 10 pounds. I got down to about 167 pounds just in case if anything was to happen this morning." 

After every fighter successfully made weight, Lee instead looked toward the future. "The Motown Phenom" was submitted by Ferguson last October at UFC 216—a bout in which Lee battled both "El Cucuy" and a staph infection. 

He bounced back from that defeat in style, mauling Edson Barboza for 22 minutes before the doctor's called the fight due to a cut. With that TKO win in his back pocket, Lee now looks for his next victim, and he sees some names on the horizon. 

"The good thing is, I got a lotta options," Lee said. "You got Al Iaquinta, me and him have the history. Justin Gaethje's just always a fun, great fight. He's going to really drag me through it and he's going to really be able for me to showcase everything and get into a violent fight. 

"But then you got the winner of Anthony Pettis and Tony Ferguson this weekend too, depending on how they look during the fight. I'm going to sit back and I'm going to be interested in this."

As it played out, Ferguson defeated Pettis via TKO after Pettis' corner stopped the fight between the second and third rounds at UFC 229. With Ferguson being the only man to defeat him in his last seven contests—and with some controversy swirling around his health in that fight—Lee says he would love to run that fight back.

"I'd like that rematch, and I think the public, they really want to see it—they want to see it again with me healthy and just us having more time to prepare," Lee said. "And I think Tony would really want to see it. If Tony's really feeling like he beat me, then he can go ahead and get it again, because I don't think he gets Conor after this... 

"There's no world that they're going to make Conor and Tony happen after this one. So Tony will be sitting on the sideline again. He'll get passed up again. He needs me. I'll help him out." 

While Lee sees plenty of potential opponents in the crowded lightweight division, he also sees the venue for them to do the dance. Taking place Dec. 15 in Milwaukee, UFC on Fox 31 marks the UFC's last event on Fox before moving to ESPN in 2019, and Lee wants to be a part of it. 

"I've already headlined three cards now, three major cards that have done pretty good business each time that I've done it, so it only makes sense, and the UFC, I think that's what they're looking for too," Lee said. "You're talking about the last Fox card before we move onto ESPN, which is going to be record-breaking for the sport, it's going to really bring the sport to a new level. So I kind of want to be a little piece of that history. 

"Being the last big Fox card, it'll be big numbers for me, and I feel like I'm the one who can really drive that market."

Watch the full interview, where Lee picks his favorite UFC fighter, tells us what he'd be doing if he wasn't a fighter, breaks down how you can get it in Halo, and much more below: