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Kevin Lee picks Tony Ferguson to beat Conor McGregor in UFC title fight ... assuming they fight at all

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Kevin Lee, as not only did “The Motown Phenom” come up short in his bid to win the interim Lightweight title against Tony Ferguson at UFC 216, but getting there was a battle in and of itself.

If going through a brutal weight cut wasn’t enough, Lee was also battling a staph infection a week before fight night. Thankfully, Kevin did a great job of hiding the affliction from all concerned officials, as he says nothing was going to stop him from competing.

“A staph infection wasn’t going to stop me from fighting,” Lee said on The MMA Hour. “There some of these dudes that will go to the hospital over it. Fuck it, what’s the worst that can happen? Let’s do it.”

Lee says he noticed the infection a week before the fight, but it wasn’t a big enough deal given the the importance of his title bout. As far as hiding it from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), Lee says it was pretty easy.

“I think I did a pretty good job of hiding it. You can see in the pictures because we have to take new ones for the shorts, I felt like I did a good job using makeup and trying to hide it. I don’t know if I should say that. Nevada may come after me for that. But, it wasn’t really their fault,’ he added.

Still, the biggest issue Lee has with the whole staph infection drama -- which was brought up by Joe Rogan during the post-fight interview — is that it may have taken away a bit of shine from Ferguson’s performance, which he says it shouldn’t.

After making weight on his second attempt after coming in heavy on his first. Lee says the 20 pound wight cut in 24 hours was brutal, but nothing out of the norm for him. That said, the pressure of the event added with the staph infection, did make it a bit tougher on his mind and body.

So much so that he had to drop six pounds in the span of three hours, as he revealed he was weighing in at 161 pounds at 8:00 a.m. the morning of weigh-ins. Still, regardless of the all of the setbacks, Lee made the weight and the title fight was given the green light.

As far as Ferguson is concerned, Lee gives “El Cucuy” all the props for getting the job done, and expects him to do the same if and when he takes on Conor McGregor in a title unification match.

“Tony for sure. Conor hits hard, but he doesn’t have the size to deal with that forward pressure. Tony leaves his chin up, but he’s got a good reach and has a good understanding of distance,” he added. “I don’t feel he’ll over-lunge and be exposed to counter punches. On the ground, he will murk McGregor. The only chance McGregor has is to knock him out cold in the first, but that isn’t going to happen. McGregor doesn’t have that much power.”

As far as the fight actually going down, Lee says it would behoove Conor to just stay away from Tony all together.

“Nah, not really, If he is smart, he wouldn't. His coaches will keep him far away from Tony as possible.”

Time will tell.

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