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UFC 249 free fight: Tony Ferguson submits Kevin Lee, wins interim title at UFC 216 (video)

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Ultimate Fighting Championship plans to finally returning to business after an extended break due to COVID-19, as Dana White and Co. look to stage UFC 249 on May 9, 2020, live from inside inside VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla.

The event will feature an interim Lightweight title fight, as Tony Ferguson faces Justin Gaethje for the strap and a shot at unifying the titles against division champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, later this year.

Before Ferguson and Gaethje duke it out in the center of the Octagon, lets take a trip down memory lane to see one of “El Cucuy’s” most impressive performances throughout his 12-fight win streak spanning over six years. In 2017, Ferguson took on Kevin Lee at UFC 216 for the, you guessed it, interim title.

After a intense first five minutes, Lee was easily up on the scorecards, though he didn’t do himself any favors after earning some boo birds due to a late blow after the bell. After a tepid second round, the action really picked up in the third, with Lee scoring major points with a nice takedown and some ground-and-pound. After scoring yet another nice takedown, Lee found himself playing defense, avoiding an armbar attempt from “El Cucuy.”

But that didn’t deter Ferguson, who managed to sink in a triangle choke, forcing Lee to tap a few moments later. Ferguson was set to face Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 six months later but the bout was scrapped after “El Cucuy” suffered a “freak accident,” tearing his ACL after tripping on some cables during a media obligation. Eventually, Ferguson was stripped of his interim belt. Now, he’ll have the chance to once again score UFC gold, as well as another booking against “The Eagle.”

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 249 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+/Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+/ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 249: “Ferguson vs. Gaethje” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.