One of the most brash and confident young fighters in the UFC, lightweight contender Kevin Lee, isn’t one to mince words, and recently had a lot to say about the promotion’s biggest star in Conor McGregor.
“The Motown Phenom” is currently on a five-fight winning streak and is scheduled to face Tony Ferguson at UFC 216 this October. Which is for the interim UFC lightweight title. The regular champion is of course, McGregor, but he hasn’t been in the Octagon this year. And has only had one bout, against Mayweather earlier this month.
The 25-year-old from Grand Rapids, Michigan recently spoke to MMA source Bloody Elbow and shared his two cents on his upcoming match against Ferguson, as well as what he thinks of McGregor.
Kevin Lee says bout between he and Tony Ferguson will determine “real” lightweight champion
Lee obviously feels that McGregor isn’t the real lightweight king. The winner between himself and Ferguson should be recognized as the true lightweight champ since they’ve both competed in the division longer. McGregor, conversely, has only had one fight at lightweight.
McGregor won the UFC lightweight title when he stopped in November of 2016 via second-round TKO. He hasn’t defended the title since. When McGregor won the UFC featherweight title in 2015, he didn’t defend that either.
Lee didn’t hold back with his criticism of the Irishman.
“It’s whatever you want to call it really,” Lee told Bloody Elbow. “To me, to most hardcore MMA fans, this is for the real championship. You got 1 guy with 1 fight in the division and calls himself champ. It just doesn’t make sense. Even the fact that he was allowed to do that, step up and fight, I get it. It was a huge event; it made a lot of money, but from a competitive standpoint, from a sporting standpoint, it didn’t make any sense. To have 1 guy with 1 fight call himself the champ, it just doesn’t make sense. You have Tony Ferguson who has double-digit fights in the UFC’s lightweight division, me too. So, it’s definitely for the real championship.”
Kevin Lee says he would maybe give McGregor a challenge if he was champion
While McGregor is the real lightweight champ, Lee does have a point. The battle between himself and Tony Ferguson is definitely up there in terms of determining the real player at lightweight. The good thing is, at some point, there will need to be a unification bout. Which means McGregor could face the winner of the UFC 216 bout.
“As far as I’m concerned, Conor, he just got beat up by a man that’s 40 years old and coming off of retirement, and he got walked down. I thought he would be the one to change up his style, and show some new flavor, but it was Floyd. Floyd was changing up stances on him. Floyd was doing the most. Apparently, Conor’s all talk. I thought he could do more than what he said, so as far as I’m concerned, he’s got to show me more, and then I’ll maybe give him a shot at the real championship.”