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Kevin Lee: It’s ‘100% undeniable’ that Tony Ferguson is the real lightweight champion

For top contender Kevin Lee, Tony Ferguson is the real champion of the UFC’s 155-pound division.

MMA: UFC 216-Ferguson vs Lee Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

After defeating Al Iaquinta via a commanding unanimous decision verdict, Khabib Nurmagomedov was officially crowned as the new undisputed UFC lightweight champion. Number six-ranked 155-pound contender Kevin Lee, however, refuses to recognize this.

For the “Motown Phenom”, his previous opponent Tony Ferguson is still the rightful owner of the title.

“100-percent. It’s undeniable,” Lee told MMAWeekly. “Even if they did take the belt away from him, the man’s the champ. I give credit where credit is due. Right now, that’s where it is. I think especially after you see that fight, ‘cause Tony would give it to Khabib.”

“I give credit where credit is due and I know who is the man to chase.”

“Khabib, if I’ve got to go through him to get to Tony, yeah,” he added. “We’ll see how the whole thing shakes out.”

Lee fought “El Cucuy” at UFC 216 last October, where he lost via third-round submission. He also went into the fight with a staph infection on his left chest, and it is something that he has conceded to as a major shortcoming from his end.

“I take full responsibility for that not showing up healthy against Tony last October,” Lee said. “That confused people even more. We’re going to see how things shake out.”

Lee is scheduled to headline the UFC’s Atlantic City card this Saturday, April 21st against Edson Barboza.