Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee interim title fight official as main event for UFC 216
It looks like Tony Ferguson versus Kevin Lee will headline UFC 216 after all.
The fight that will determine a new interim lightweight champion wasn’t originally expected to headline the card on Oct. 7 from Las Vegas, but UFC officials announced this week that Ferguson vs. Lee will indeed serve as the main event.
UFC president Dana White had originally stated that a different fight would headline the card, but Ferguson and Lee will now get the chance to serve as the main event.
Ferguson will return to action for the first time in nearly a year as he looks to build on his recent nine-fight win streak as he competes for his first ever UFC title. Lee is coming off a submission victory over Michael Chiesa, which moved his record to 16-2 overall with a five fight win streak under his belt.
Sources told MMANytt.com that the UFC desperately wanted to add a second world title fight to the card, but no one was available to compete in October.
Overtures were made to both bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt as well as women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk about competing at UFC 216, but ultimately the promotion had to move forward with the card headlined by Ferguson vs. Lee.
The co-main event on the card will feature a heavyweight tilt between former champion Fabricio Werdum against knockout artist Derrick Lewis, who has been spending much of his week rescuing people in his hometown of Houston, Tex. due to the severe weather conditions brought on by Hurricane Harvey.
Meanwhile, Jessica Eye will finally make her debut at 125 pounds in the UFC as she takes on Paige VanZant in a bout in the newly minted women’s flyweight division.
Here’s a look at the UFC 216 card as it stands:
MAIN EVENT: Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee (interim lightweight title fight)
Fabricio Werdum vs. Derrick Lewis
Jessica Eye vs. Paige VanZant
Walt Harris vs. Mark Godbeer
Beniel Dariush vs. Evan Dunham
Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz
Tom Duquesnoy vs. Cody Stamann
Pearl Gonzalez vs. Poliana Betelho
Lando Vannata vs. Bobby Green
John Moraga vs. Magomed Bibulatov
Thales Leites vs. Brad Tavares
Matt Schnell vs. Marco Beltran