If the verbal back-and-forth between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee is any indication, then their UFC 216 main event should be a nonstop whirlwind of action.
There’s more than a week left until their Oct. 7 clash in Las Vegas for the interim UFC lightweight title, but the duo threw down verbally during a Thursday media teleconference.
Ferguson, who rides a nine-fight win streak into the bout, had already come close to getting into a physical confrontation with former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum at a media event in Los Angeles. His eventful day continued when he responded to the talkative Lee’s claim that Ferguson is past his prime.
“Tony, the man’s already over the hill,” Lee said. “He’s 33, he’s talking about what he’s going to do on the next one down the line, so its going to be whatever. After this fight, he’ll really know my name. People are shocked, confused as to why I’m getting this shot, why I’m doing this, why I’m doing that, I said it months ago and I’ll say it again, I feel like I’m the real king of all these bitch. I’m 25, I’m just getting started, I keep getting better, he keeps getting worse, so it don’t matter when you look at our skills, you’ll see it during open workouts ...
“Keep talking, kid. Keep talking kid,” Ferguson interrupted.
“There ain’t no keep talking,” Lee retorted. “I’m about to show you. I give you a chance to say what you’re going to say, to do your thing ...
From here, the duo started talking over one another.
“You f*cked yourself, brother, that’s what you did,” Ferguson said. “You talking sh*t, and you wanted to bring family into it. I’m not the punk-ass [Michael] Chiesa, you’re dealing with a real Mexican now.”
Some of the conversation was rendered unintelligble by simulatenous shouting, but the banter picked back up as they picked apart one another’s records.
“I’ve fought four times in the last 12 months,” said Lee, who has won five straight fights with finishes in his past four. “I’m taking this fight, nobody else wanted ...
“You lose in the tournament bracket and then you got knocked out,” Ferguson interrupted. “You have to fight your way back. It’s cool man, enjoy those wins you had. It’s going to end.
“Yeah, sure man, sure,” Lee said. “Again, I’m still, when we look at what you actually, ... you fought a bunch of b*tches, [Abel Trujillo] was whoopin’ your ass and b*tched out in the second round, .... Edson Barboza b*tched out in the second round, you fought a bunch of b*tches and you ...”
“You’re going to be my next b*tch,” Ferguson said.
“Alright, let’s do it,” Lee replied. “You saw RDA who was already coming off a knockout you see him when he was off the juice.”
“Speaking of juice, are you off the juice?” Ferguson asked in an accusation with no proof.
Things quieted down for awhile, as Demetrious Johnson and Ray Borg, who were also on the call, finally managed to get a few words in.
But round two started when Ferguson questioned Lee’s grappling skills, in a fight that will feature a pair of competitors who both wrestled at Grand Valley State in Michigan.
“He’s got good grappling, but not as good as mine,” Ferguson said. “He never did as well as I did in college, he’s always been following in my footsteps, man ...
“You, you’re crazy as hell,” Lee responded. “He’s 33, how am I in his footsteps when I’m 25? C’mon ...”
More talking over one another ensued before Lee stopped for a second to let Ferguson speak.
“He’s the fakest dude I know, Ferguson said. “He talked his way into a title fight, he’s not going to be able to talk his way out of the cage.”
“Okay, talk my way, but I’ve got 11 UFC fights. You ...”
You get the point by now. The duo went on and on for awhile before things finally wound down. If they can match this pace in the ring, UFC 216’s main event will be a fight to remember.