Former UFC interim title challenger Kevin Lee has spoken out for the first time since he was released by the promotion.

Lee has had his fair share of struggles in the octagon in recent years, losing four of his last five fights after losing the interim lightweight title to Tony Ferguson at UFC 216. Following his most recent loss to Daniel Rodriguez, Lee was served a six-month suspension for Adderall use.

Lee was released by the promotion earlier this week and had been relatively quiet since the news, aside from a brief statement from his manager Marquel Martin. During a recent interview on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Lee said that the UFC brass didn’t contact him directly to notify him of the move, and had a coordinator email him about it.

“That was kind of the worst part about it,” Lee said. “Didn’t really have the proper notice or even really have a phone call about it. At first, I was shocked a little bit. I didn’t really understand what was going on. Then once I talked to my manager, agent and kind of made sure it was official, I hopped on the phone with a bunch of other people.

“I’m pissed and a little bit embarrassed and it really doesn’t make much sense to me.”

Kevin Lee Is The Latest UFC Veteran To Be Cut By The Promotion

It’s unclear what could be next for Lee in his MMA career, but he’s not the only released UFC fighter who has alleged wrongdoing. Former UFC heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos alleged that the promotion treated him poorly too after he was released earlier this year.

Lee is now a free agent for one of the few times in his career and could sign with another promotion such as the PFL or Bellator.

Where would you like to see Kevin Lee fight next?

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Curtis Calhoun is a Combat Sports Contributor based in Seattle, Washington. After a longtime dream of becoming a sports journalist, he was able to accomplish his goals upon graduating from Washington State University in 2016.