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Kevin Lee initially misses weight ahead of UFC 216

Al Iaquinta, left, and Kevin Lee exchange blows during the third round of a UFC 169 lightweight mixed martial arts bout in Newark, N.J., Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. Iaquinta won by unanimous decision. (AP Photo/Tim Larsen)
AP Photo/Tim Larsen

[UPDATE]: Kevin Lee weighed in at 154.5 pounds upon returning to the scale immediately after his one-hour grace period. As a result, the interim lightweight title fight is on.

Kevin Lee now has less than one hour to lose just a single pound. As a result of Friday morning’s weigh-in for the upcoming UFC 216, the 25-year-old lightweight came in one pound over the 155-pound limit for his main event bout against Tony Ferguson, who came in at an even 155.

The cut-off for Lee to make weight is now 12:15 p.m. Pacific Time.

Lee had never missed weight for a UFC event until now, a reality that perhaps had him too confident ahead of Friday’s weigh-in. On Thursday, he told Shaun Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting that he had approximately 19 pounds to lose in less than 24 hours.

“I feel like a million bucks, still full of a lot of energy. I’ve got a big weight cut ahead of me, so that’s where the focus is right now,” he said. “Right now I’m about ’74, something like that. I have a decent little cut. It ain’t going to be nothing different. I’ve cut from a lot higher than that.”

Lee is ranked as the seventh-best lightweight contender in the world. He has a professional mixed martial arts record of 16-2 alongside a 9-2 win-loss total in the UFC. Ferguson, meanwhile, is the second-ranked lightweight contender to Conor McGregor behind the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov. He’s 22-3 overall, with 12 wins and one loss coming under the umbrella of the UFC.

If Lee finds a way to lose that ever elusive pound, the interim UFC lightweight title bout will continue on as planned on Saturday evening at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Any other outcome would be disappointing for both fighters, obviously, but Ferguson especially. In March, his interim lightweight title tilt against the aforementioned Nurmagomedov was called off after the Russian fighter was hospitalized following a dramatic weight cut of his own.



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