Kevin Lee is preparing to battle Edson Barboza for the main event of next months UFC Fight Night Atlantic City card.
The lightweight contender wants to fight UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor and believes a bout between the two will happen by the end of 2018.
“That fight happens at the end of the year, me and Conor,” Lee said at a UFC 222 media scrum. “I think that’s the fight that everybody’s been looking forward to, and is right there within striking distance.”
McGregor hasn’t been in the Octagon since UFC 205 in 2016, where he defeated Eddie Alvarez to win the UFC Lightweight Title.
Lee does want the bout with McGregor in a bad way, but says that UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson is the true champ of the division.
“Everything I’m setting out is a plan to get back to that [Ferguson] fight. He’s been the real champ, and I don’t really see no confusion about it. You got Conor, that has a belt, but the man is not a champion and I think he even knows that. If he comes back and when he fights, then...if he beats Tony Ferguson then obviously he’ll have it. But, right now, Tony Ferguson is the real champion; he’s the one I’m getting back to,” says Lee.
UFC Fight Night Atlantic City takes place on Saturday, April 21 from the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey with Edson Barboza and Kevin Lee headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on Fox Sports 1.