Kevin Lee
The Motown Phenom
Left speechless in upset loss
December 15, 2018
Lee lost to Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision (47-48, 47-48, 46-49) at UFC on Fox 31 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Saturday.
There was a lot of talk leading up to this fight about how different it was going to look from when the two first met in 2014 but the dynamics remained largely the same, with Iaquinta winning the fight on the feet and Lee having his moments on the ground. The 26-year-old appeared to be close to ending the fight with a choke in two separate rounds but was unable to find the finish, leaving him to get pressured and outstruck for the majority of the fight. Lee was absolutely crestfallen when the decision was read but it was certainly justifiable, as "The Motown Phenom" just seemed to be beaten to the punch far too often to have the fight won comfortably. It's clear that Lee sees himself in the title picture with guys like Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson but his boxing simply must improve before he can become one of the elite fighters in the division. He falls to 17-4 in professional MMA as a result of the loss.
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To headline Milwaukee card against Al Iaquinta
October 10, 2018
Lee will face Al Iaquinta in a lightweight bout at UFC on Fox 31 in Milwaukee on Dec. 15, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
Lee is coming off a TKO win over Edson Barboza at UFC Fight Night in Atlantic City in April, which put him back in the win column after falling to Tony Ferguson via submission at UFC 216 in October for the interim title belt. The 26-year-old has emerged victorious in six of his last seven trips to the octagon, but he'll have his hands full against a veteran fighter in Iaquinta, who is 13-4 as a professional, including a unanimous decision victory over Lee at UFC 169 in 2014. In that original matchup against Iaquinta (Lee's UFC debut), Lee was able to record a takedown and pass guard, but lost the striking battle 39-to-49. That pace doesn't necessarily bode well for fantasy results, but each fighter has seen their striking evolve significantly since that matchup, and this time around, it will be a five-round fight.
Looks great in stopping Edson Barboza Saturday
April 21, 2018
Lee defeated Edson Barboza via TKO (doctor's stoppage) at 2:18 of Round 5 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Atlantic City.
Lee's wrestling and pressure won him this fight, but it was his chin that held up in a moment of crisis in Round 3. The Motown Phenom was able to dominate Barboza with his ground-and-pound in Rounds 1 and 2. As soon as the bell rang for the third frame, Lee nearly had his head taken off by one of Barboza's signature kicks. Lee was clearly in trouble and it looked like he may not survive, but he recovered quickly, made it through the frame and went back to his wrestling in Round 4. It was smooth sailing from then on. Lee's strong performance is somewhat muted by the fact he missed weight on Friday. Lee has shown no desire to move up to welterweight, but he is going to have to seriously consider it if the weight cutting issues continue. Lee is 6-1 in his last seven fights dating back to April 2016.
Will remain in Saturday's fight
April 20, 2018
Lee, despite missing weight, will still fight Edson Barboza on Saturday at UFC Fight Night in Atlantic City, Ariel Helwani of reports.
Lee weighed in at 157, one pound over the 156-pound weight limit, but he and his team announced shortly after that Lee would remain in Saturday's main event. As a result, according to Brett Okamoto of ESPN, Lee will have to forfeit 20 percent of his purse.
Misses weight Friday
April 20, 2018
Lee failed to make weight Friday morning for his Saturday bout with Edson Barboza, Damon Martin of MMA Weekly reports.
Lee will not be given any additional time to make weight, as scales have closed for this weekend's UFC Fight Night in Atlantic City. Lee could still participate in the fight, but he would have to give up a percentage of his purse, so expect an update later on Friday on the main event's status.
Scheduled to fight Edson Barboza in April
February 27, 2018
Lee will fight Edson Barboza at UFC Fight Night in Atlantic City on Apr. 21.
Lee hasn't fought since October after being defeated in the UFC Interim Lightweight Championship via submission by Tony Ferguson. However, he's now set for another high-profile fight against the 32-year-old Barboza, who owns a career record of 19-5. Barboza is known for his prolific striking ability, so Lee will likely do everything he can to try and take this fight to the ground, especially considering he owns eight submissions over his 16 total victories. Despite being two inches shorter, Lee owns the reach advantage over Lee.