UFC 216: Tony Ferguson ‘Absolutely’ has Respect for Kevin Lee

Tony Ferguson gained an incredible asset as he marched to the top of the UFC‘s lightweight division.

That was the ability to get inside the mind of his opponent through what Ferguson calls “mental warfare.”

“I told you you’ve got to market yourself the way you have to,” he said. “You’re going to have to fight and you have to bleed a little. You marketed your way into this fight. I retired people and made them move classes. I ran out of asses to kick. I beat Khabib even before fighting him.

“It’s called mental warfare. You’ve got attitude problems. You’re just like that dude who’s never really cut it on the team.”

A former Ultimate Fighter winner, Ferguson has picked up nine consecutive wins, including a November victory over former champion Rafael dos Anjos.

In Lee, he has a level of respect for him, but still doesn’t believe he is a worthy challenger.

“I respect you. Absolutely. You’re an athlete,” he said. “I’m not bringing any animosity to this. You’re already at a loss. You’re trying to mean mug me, stare me down. I’m just going to school you. You can have all that shiny stuff. It’s all fake.”