While reigning lightweight champ Conor McGregor remains on hiatus, an interim 155-pound king will be crowned at UFC 216.
UFC President Dana White revealed to reporters following the latest iteration of his Tuesday Night Contender Series that Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee will square off for the interim belt on Oct. 7 in Las Vegas. White was uncertain if the bout would serve as the headliner for the event, which takes place at the T-Mobile Arena.
McGregor, who captured lightweight gold with a second-round stoppage of Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 last November, has yet to defend the title. He is scheduled to face Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match on Aug. 26, and it is unclear if and when he will return to the Octagon.
Ferguson was supposed to face Khabib Nurmagomedov for the interim belt at UFC 209, but Nurmagomedov was forced to withdraw from the contest at the last minute due to medical issues related to his weight cut. “El Cucuy” has won nine straight fights in the Octagon, including a five-round verdict over Rafael dos Anjos in his most recent outing at UFC Fight Night 98.
Lee, meanwhile, has been victorious in nine of his last 10 promotional appearances. The 24-year-old known as “The Motown Phenom” scored a signature victory at UFC Fight Night 112, as he submitted Michael Chiesa with a rear-naked choke in the opening round of their headlining clash on June 25.