Earlier today the MMA world was hit with the news that top lightweight Kevin Lee had missed weight during the early weigh-ins for his main event with Edson Barboza at this weekend’s (Sat., April 21, 2018) UFC Atlantic City.
The miss, where ‘The Motown Phenom’ came in one pound over the non-title fight limit of 156 pounds, was significant in that he had nearly missed weight for his interim title fight with Tony Ferguson at last year’s UFC 216, coming in extremely late and weighing following a weight cut that he openly said ‘damn near killed him’ while he was dealing with a staph infection.
But he wasn’t dealing with such an ailment this time around, so the inevitable questions of if he should move up to welterweight are swirling this afternoon. Lee issued a statement on Instagram to clarify that this was actually the first time he had ever missed weight, apologizing to the UFC, Dana White, and his opponent before saying he just ran out of time:
“For the first time ever in my athletic career since high school I’ve missed weight this morning. I just ran outta time. I apologize @Ufc @danawhite@edsonbarbozajr tomorrow Imma go put on a show”
Lee will move forward in the main event, as Barboza accepted 20 percent of his purse to keep the fight proceeding as planned.
There’s not a more talented division in the UFC than 155 pounds, and the winner of tomorrow’s vital headlining fight will arguably put themselves dangerously close to title contention.
But with Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor, and Tony Ferguson all vying for the throne and inactive until late this year or beyond, the UFC’s deepest division is also set to be its messiest for the foreseeable future.
So in a division so log-jammed with top contenders, Lee can’t afford to continue having a weight scare every time he steps on the scales – especially if it’s affecting his performance.
Will it against the ultra-dangerous Brazilian striker tomorrow?