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Kevin Lee planning UFC return against Tony Ferguson — ‘One of us is going to have to leave’

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UFC 216: Ferguson v Lee Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Longtime UFC lightweight contender Kevin Lee, who also made some noise at 170 pounds, has not competed since his submission loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 170 back in March 2020, thanks to a pair of ACL tears that sidelined him for the remainder of the year.

Upon his inevitable return to action, Lee is hoping to score a 155-pound rematch against the sliding Tony Ferguson. “El Cucuy” finished “The Motown Phenom” in their back-and-forth UFC 216 headliner to claim the interim division strap, later vacated after a grisly knee injury.

“I’m going to fight Tony Ferguson,” Lee told MMA Junkie. “I think that fight makes sense from all angles. I don’t see anybody else that’s out there for him to fight. It just makes sense and it puts us back where it should be. A fight with me and him is going to kind of show one of us has to win, one of us is going to have to leave. So that’s a fight that interests me this summer. We’ll see what he talking about on his end, but he’s No. 1 in my book.”

Prior to his Ferguson loss, Lee (18-6) had won five straight and nine of his last 10. But after coming up short against “El Cucuy,” the now 28 year-old “Motown Phenom” is a dismal 2-3, with a pair of those losses coming by way of late submission.

Ferguson (25-5), who turned 37 earlier this month, has also fallen on hard times. A technical knockout loss to Justin Gaethje ended his title hopes against Khabib Nurmagomedov before a unanimous decision defeat to the aforementioned Oliveira all but eliminated him from title contention.

As of this writing, Lee is ranked No. 12 against No. 5 for “El Cucuy.”