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Kevin Lee

25-Year-Old     UFC     Lightweight     16-3-0

Birthdate:  September 4, 1992    Height:  5'9    Weight:  Lightweight    

October 7, 2017    Kevin Lee News

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RotoWire Fantasy Analysis

Lee lost to Tony Ferguson in Saturday's UFC Interim Lightweight Championship fight, falling via submission (triangle choke) at 4:02 of Round 3 at UFC 216 in Las Vegas.

It was a trying week for the "Motown Phenom." From the events of the last few days in his adopted home of Las Vegas to his issues making weight on Friday, it was just too much for Lee to overcome. He revealed in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan that he was also suffering from a staph infection. Lee looked good early and was likely on his way to a 29-28 lead when disaster struck late in Round 3. Lee had slowed down considerably prior to the finish and it was abundantly clear that his energy was quickly evaporating. It's not a surprise given all the issues he had yesterday. Much like Ray Borg in the co-main event, Lee's (who turned 25 years old last month) best days are ahead of him.

Kevin Lee: Past News Updates   ( ▲ View most recent update )

On his second attempt, Lee successfully weighed in at 154.5 pounds for Saturday's interim lightweight championship fight against Tony Ferguson, Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review Journal reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Lee weighed in at the back end of Friday's two-hour window, but checked in at 156 pounds -- one pound over the limit for a championship fight. After receiving medical clearance to attempt to cut the weight, Lee was then given a one-hour window to lose the final pound. He returned to the weigh-in area minutes before the deadline elapsed, and ultimately made the weight. As a result, Lee will now take on Ferguson in the main event of Saturday's UFC 216 with the interim belt on the line. The saga seems to have affected Lee's betting odds, as he's currently as much as a (+225) underdog in some places after opening at (+145). Ferguson, on the other hand, weighed in on his first attempt Friday morning, and has had well over an extra hour to begin the rehydration process.
Lee weighed in at 156 pounds for Saturday's UFC 216 matchup against Tony Ferguson, one pound over the limit for a lightweight title fight. Per Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com, if doctors clear Lee to attempt to cut the extra pound, he will have one additional hour to make weight.

Fantasy Analysis

Lee told Helwani on Thursday morning that he had 19 pounds to cut in less than 24 hours, so the weight cutting troubles Friday didn't exactly come from out of the blue. He was undoubtedly surprised to miss his mark, but barring a surprising turn of events, Lee will be given another chance to hit the lightweight limit. If he cannot make the weight, a multitude of possibilities are on the table, including moving forward with the scheduled bout as a non-title fight. Stay tuned for further updates on the situation.
According to Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com Lee has approximately 19 pounds left to cut in advance of Friday morning's weigh-in.

Fantasy Analysis

This isn't necessarily all that uncommon for a lightweight fighter, but cutting nearly 11 percent of one's body weight in less than 24 hours is a tall task to ask of anyone. Lee remains confident he can get to the 155-pound limit for a lightweight title fight, but it's still a situation worth monitoring for any fantasy owners with Lee or his opponent, Tony Ferguson, in their lineups. As of Thursday afternoon, Lee remains approximately a (+180) underdog for the matchup.
Lee will take on Tony Ferguson for the UFC Interim Lightweight Championship at UFC 216 on Oct. 7 in Las Vegas.

Fantasy Analysis

Lee doesn't have nearly as many big-name opponents on his resume as Ferguson, but he'll parlay a five-fight winning streak into a title shot nonetheless. The Detroit native caught the attention of fight fans in his last bout, earning a dominant technical submission victory over Michael Chiesa. The No. 7-ranked Lee jumped many contenders to get this opportunity, passing the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Nate Diaz, Eddie Alvarez and Edson Barboza. Though Lee will enter this fight as a major underdog, an upset victory would presumably earn him the fight of his life against current UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor following his return to the UFC from a brief boxing stint. For Lee to get that opportunity, his ideal strategy would be to utilize his wrestling to maintain control, avoiding extended striking exchanges with an elite fighter like Ferguson.
Lee defeated Michael Chiesa via technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:37 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night 112 on Sunday in Oklahoma City.

Fantasy Analysis

The fight quickly went to the ground as Chiesa took Lee down. Lee was able to scramble to take top position. "The Motown Phenom" did a good job of fighting off submission attempts and eventually took "Maverick's" back. After securing a body triangle, Lee locked in a rear-naked choke. Chiesa was doing his best to defend the submission, even though it was under the chin, and was in the process of fighting the choke when Mario Yamasaki stopped the fight. Chiesa did not tap. It was a bizarre finish and not the way the UFC wants to end the night with a controversial end to the main event. Nonetheless, Lee was awarded a Performance of the Night bonus for his efforts.
According to Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review Journal, Lee stated that he is approximately 24 pounds overweight ahead of Saturday's lightweight matchup against Michael Chiesa.

Fantasy Analysis

Lee also appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani on Monday, but appeared to be in good spirits, and the issue of weight was not brought up. Provided the report is not some sort of ruse perpetrated by Lee and his team, it's going to be a rough week ahead for the 155-pounder. That type of weight cut is certainly not unheard of in the sport, but Lee will be cutting right up until Friday morning's deadline. To put the cut in perspective, if this fight were located in California with new weight cutting rules in effect, Lee would likely be forced to move up to welterweight for any additional fights in the state.
Lee defeated Francisco Trinaldo via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:12 of Round 2 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Fortaleza, Brazil.

Fantasy Analysis

There's a lot to like about the 24-year-old Motown Phenom. His evening didn't get off to a great start, but as soon as Trinaldo made a positional mistake on the mat, Lee pounced. An explosive athlete with a strong wrestling base, Lee's striking and ground skills are ever improving. Although born in the Detroit area, he has been training with the Extreme Couture camp in Las Vegas for quite a while now. Lee dropped his UFC debut to Al Iaquinta in February 2014, but he's gone 8-1 since then and the one setback was a fluke first-round KO loss at the hands of an inferior fighter in Leonardo Santos. Expect Lee to find himself in the top-15 when the UFC updates their rankings on Monday.
Lee defeated Magomed Mustafaev via technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:31 of round 2 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Fantasy Analysis

In terms of striking, these two were very evenly matched. However, Lee's wrestling ended of being the difference. He landed several takedowns in the first and took the back and nearly finished via rear-naked choke. In the second round, Lee once again went to his wrestling. Mustafaev was able to escape the first back mount, but not the second. Late in the round, Lee scored a takedown, cut through the guard, took the back and finished with a rear-naked choke. Mustafaev refused to tap and ended up going unconscious. Lee is now 6-2.
Lee defeated Jake Matthews via TKO (punches) at 4:06 of Round 1 at the TUF 23 Finale on Friday in Las Vegas.

Fantasy Analysis

It was a flawless performance from Lee. He absorbed virtually no damage from Matthews and he dominated the fight in all areas. A tremendous athlete who is very strong, Lee has exceeded all expectations since joining the UFC in February 2014. Lee is 6-2 with the company and Friday was without a doubt his most impressive effort. Other than one really lousy performance against Leonardo Santos in December, Lee has improved every single time that we have seen him in the octagon. Fighting in arguably the deepest division in the company doesn't help matters, but it's not out of the question that Lee could find himself a top-ten ranked lightweight by the end of 2016.
Lee defeated Efrain Escudero via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC 197 on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Fantasy Analysis

It wasn't a very impressive effort from Lee, but it was enough to get him back into the win column. Lee is an explosive athlete and he displays great movement on the feet, but he has been inconsistent during his fights. He started fast in this one, easily winning Round 1, but he slowed dramatically in the second frame before picking up the pace late to earn the win. At age-23, Lee is still learning the finer points of MMA and he has a ton of potential, but this marks back-to-back mediocre efforts. Lee remains a quality prospect, but he could use a dominant effort his next time out. He is now 5-2 in the UFC.
Lee lost to Leonardo Santos via TKO (punches) at 3:26 of Round 1 at UFC 194 on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Fantasy Analysis

That should slow/stop the hype train behind "The Motown Phenom". Lee got dropped with a big one-two combo and then took numerous shots on the ground. He was upset with the stoppage from veteran referee John McCarthy, but it is hard to see what he was complaining about. Not only was Lee a -660 favorite for this fight, but virtually everyone expected to have a massive advantage on the feet. It didn't work out that way. It's one of the things that makes this sport great.
Lee will enter his lightweight fight with Leonardo Santos as a -660 favorite at UFC 194 on Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Fantasy Analysis

Just 23 year old, Lee is in prime position to pick up his fifth consecutive victory and continue to ascend the UFC lightweight division. With his only promotional loss coming to contender Al Iaquinta, Lee will look to inflict his smothering wrestling approach on Santos, The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2 champion.
Lee will face Leonardo Santos at UFC 194 on December 12 in Las Vegas, MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Lee is one of the brightest prospects in the lightweight division. Lee dropped his UFC debut to Al Iaquinta, but he has won four in a row since. The 22-year-old most recently picked up a first round submission win over James Moontasri last month in San Diego.
Lee defeated James Moontasri via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:56 of Round 1 on Wednesday in San Diego.

Fantasy Analysis

More good work from "The Motown Phenom". Lee was able to throw Moontasri to the ground and he slowly transitioned to the back and eventually picked up the submission win. After dropping his UFC debut to Al Iaquinta (a fight in which he looked very impressive), Lee has won four straight. Lee's all-around game is terrific. He has heavy hands, he's a terrific wrestler and mat specialist and he keeps himself in terrific shape. At just 22-years old, Lee is one of the brighter prospects on the roster. He also has a bit of an attitude, which is never a bad thing.