Tony Ferguson, the number two ranked fighter in the UFC’s lightweight division recently sent out a Tweet to UFC President Dana White asking him to confirm the Main Event for UFC 216. The UFC responded pretty quickly and confirmed that the interim title fight between Ferguson and the number seven ranked Kevin Lee. UFC 216 takes place on October 7 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ferguson vs. Lee – Main Event
The number 1 ranked contender in the division Khabib Nurmagomedov was expected to fight Ferguson earlier this year but the fight was called off as Nurmagomedov suffered a liver shutdown during his weight-cut and has not competed since then. There were rumors of a possible fight taking place between the two earlier this year but Nurmagomedov’s camp declined to sign the fight agreement.
The UFC had already confirmed a fight between former champion and number 3 ranked Eddie Alvarez with the number 5 ranked Justin Gaethje. The only other option that Ferguson had was the number 4 ranked Edson Barboza who he has already beaten. The UFC decided to book Ferguson vs. Lee as the two fighters have already had an heated exchange on air when Ferguson was doing commentary for fox.
The winner of this match should get a crack at the UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor when he returns but there have also been rumors that Conor might be interested in going to Russia and fighting Nurmagomedov in front of his home crowd. That could be one of the reasons why Nurmagomedov turned down an interim title fight with Ferguson.
Werdum vs. Lewis : Co-Main Event
Fabrico Werdum, former heavyweight champion who is now ranked number 2 will fight Derrick ‘the black beast’ Lewis in the co-main event. Werdum is coming off a loss to Alistair Overeem while Lewis is also coming off a loss to Mark Hunt.
Lewis’s preparation for the fight has taken a backseat during this week due to Hurricane Harvey which has left his home town of Houston swamped. Lewis has been very busy this past week helping to rescue people and save lives.
Paige VanZant vs. Jessica Eye
Crowd favorite Paige VanZant will make her return to the Octagon after suffering a defeat to Michelle Waterson in December 2016. She will now fight at the new women’s featherweight division and take on Jessica Eye.