Seventh-ranked lightweight Kevin Lee will take on No. 2 ranked Tony Ferguson in the UFC 216 main event for the interim lightweight championship. Seven-year UFC veteran Michael Johnson doesn’t think Lee deserves to be fighting for an interim UFC title.
“Kevin, he definitely surprised a lot of people. He’s been on his winning streak, but I don’t think he deserves an interim title shot yet. I think he needs to fight somebody else in the top ten and see how good he really is,” said Johnson during the UFC Rotterdam Q&A.
Lee (16-2) has gone 9-2 in his 11 fights inside the Octagon and is currently riding a five-fight winning streak. Lee has a big personality and isn’t shy when the cameras are on. He and Ferguson had an on-air argument following Lee’s last fight during the event’s Post Show of FS1. Johnson believes Lee got the shot because of his marketability and trash talk.
“That’s exactly what it was with Kevin Lee. He had the great press conference and he came in and did what he had to do against Michael Chiesa. He spoke himself,” said Johnson. “The fans want to see him. Everybody wants to see him. Regardless of if they want to see him or lose, people are going to tune in to watch that fight and that’s why has has that fight.”
Johnson would have liked to have faced Lee, but it wasn’t in the cards. Lee faces Ferguson on Oct. 7, and Johnson believes Ferguson will win.
“I would have loved to have fought (Lee), but they gave him an interim title shot, so you have to respect that. You have to respect his win streak. We’ll see how he does,” said Johnson.
“Tony Ferguson is a tough fight and I don’t think he’s going to make it out of that one.”