One of the most controversial topics coming out of UFC 216 was Kevin Lee’s staph infection being discovered as he made his entrance into the Octagon for his interim lightweight title clash with Tony Ferguson.
Lee would go on to lose the fight via third-round submission by way of a triangle choke; however, he admitted the staph infection hindered his performance at least somewhat.
“The Motown Phenom” recently joined Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour” to discuss the controversy yesterday (Mon. October 16, 2017) and admitted that he was a little annoyed with UFC commentator Joe Rogan for bringing up the infection despite orders from the production team not to (quotes via Bloody Elbow):
“It kind of takes away from it, and it kind of takes away from Tony too,” Lee said. “I thought Tony did a great job, even with the staph infection.”
“It kind of takes a little bit away from our performance. But look, it’s the truth, and it is what it is. I always like to do that with people, I always like to tell people the way it is, so I can’t really hold it against him. I was a little annoyed at first that he would bring it up, but it’s clear.”
The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) has also been under fire as of late for allowing Lee to compete with the infection, but Lee was quick to jump to their defense:
“They got a little bit of backlash for letting me fight, but they were mostly just concerned about the weight,” Lee said. “I think I did a pretty good job of hiding it. I felt like I did a good job of using makeup and trying to hide the best that I could. It wasn’t really their fault. “