Lightweight staple Kevin Lee explained his thought process behind re-joining the UFC. The US-born athlete says that he is after a challenge in MMA.

‘The Motown Phenom’ Lee signed with the UFC originally in 2014. After earning a record of 11-7 in the competitive lightweight division he was cut after back-to-back losses to Daniel Rodriguez and Charles Oliveira. After earning a victory over Diego Sanchez at Eagle FC, Lee has found his way back to the UFC.

In an interview with Marc Raimondi of ESPN, Kevin Lee explained that this is for his legacy. The 30-year-old athlete was speaking with the PFL and instead went with the UFC. He explained:

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“I was probably like two or three days away from when they [PFL] made that call. Two days later and I would have signed it and we would be talking about having some kind of no-name type of fight and then working my way toward a Jake Paul [fight]. If that was the route I wanted to go down, I could have done it. Jake Paul’s a much easier fight than having to fight — I mean, you’re talking about Colby Covington, Leon Edwards, and [Jorge] Masvidal. The list can just keep going with tough fights. You’ve got Khamzat [Chimaev] out there somewhere. There’s a lot of tougher fights.”

Kevin Lee wants to put it all on the line

It seems as though the plan is to compete in the welterweight division in the UFC. The 30-year-old fighter explained that he wants to put it all on the line, and that’s why he looked at the UFC and not another MMA organization. He added:

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“Dana White’s son can be my fan, but I want my son to be my biggest fan. I think he can look up to, ‘Okay, you actually went out there and you did it. You actually competed and you actually put your balls on the line instead of taking the easy route out.’ Jake Paul would have been the easy route, for sure.” [Transcript courtesy of MMA Mania]

Kevin Lee will be back in the UFC sometime later in 2023.

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See the full interview below:

Timothy Wheaton is a combat sports writer who covers MMA, Kickboxing, and Muay Thai. He has been an avid follower of these sports since 2005. Tim has even covered the UFC, GLORY Kickboxing, and Bellator in person at live events. With Low Kick MMA, Tim has contributed interviews, articles, and podcasts. Tim also works with a host of other media sites such as Calf Kick Sports, Sportskeeda MMA, MMA Sucka, Vecht Sport Info, Fighters First, and Beyond Kickboxing. Tim is is the authority on kickboxing and MMA journalist who has covered K-1, PRIDE FC, UFC, GLORY Kickboxing, Bellator, ONE Championship, and plenty more.