Former UFC interim lightweight title challenger Kevin Lee has been released by the UFC, as first reported by MMA Fighting.

Lee has lost five of his last seven fights and has struggled since losing the interim lightweight title to Tony Ferguson at UFC 216. Following a win over Edson Barboza, he fell back out of the lightweight title picture while also struggling to cut down to 155.

In response, Lee moved to welterweight following a loss to Charles Oliveira in early 2020. He fell to Daniel Rodriguez at UFC Vegas 35 earlier this year.

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It was announced just weeks ago that Lee had received a six-month suspension after he tested positive for amphetamines in a post-fight drug test stemming from his loss to Rodriguez. He alleged that the positive test stemmed from his use of Adderall to treat an ADHD diagnosis.

Kevin Lee Switched Between Lightweight And Welterweight In Recent Years

Lee debuted against former title challenger Al Iaquinta at UFC 169, losing by a unanimous decision. However, this would preclude wins in nine of his next ten fights including a Fight Night main event win over Michael Chiesa by first-round submission.

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Lee would finally get his chance to headline a UFC pay-per-view at UFC 216 against Ferguson, but he would fall short by a third-round submission after having some early success in the fight. Lee would later reveal that the weight cut to 155 pounds ahead of the Ferguson bout nearly resulted in him winding up in the hospital.

It’s unclear what could be next in Lee’s combat sports career. At the timing of this story, he has yet to publicly address his release from the UFC. He could eventually sign with a smaller promotion such as the PFL or Bellator.

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What do you think should be next for Kevin Lee’s MMA career?

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.