Kevin Lee
The Motown Phenom

USA

Out
Injury Knee
Est. Return 3/6/2021
Undergoes surgery on other ACL
LightweightUFC
Out
August 5, 2020
Lee (knee) announced via Instagram on Wednesday that he recently underwent surgery to repair his right ACL.
ANALYSIS
The 27-year-old suffered the right ACL tear while recovering from surgery on his left ACL, which he underwent earlier in the year. Lee was expected to be sidelined six months after the first surgery, and he's likely looking at a longer timeline while rehabbing both injuries. It's unclear when he'll be able to reenter the Octagon, though it certainly won't be in 2020.
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Undergoing ACL surgery
LightweightUFC
Out
April 28, 2020
Lee will haver surgery to repair a torn left ACL on Thursday in will be out at least six months, Marc Raimondi of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
It's not clear how Lee suffered the injury in the first place and all he said about it was that he was "not even doing anything that was totally out of the ordinary." Lee lost by third-round submission at UFC Brasilia on March 14. He will likely target sometime in the fall to try and get back in the octagon.
Dealing with knee injury
LightweightUFC
Out
April 17, 2020
Lee is battling a knee injury and will undergo an MRI Friday to determine its exact severity, source reports.
ANALYSIS
Lee believes the issue involves his ACL, though he'll know for sure soon. Regardless of what the test reveals, he doesn't expect to fight any time soon, as he indicated back in late March that he intended to take a full year off before his next fight as he attempts to work through a rough patch which has seen him lose four of his last six fights.
Taking a year off
LightweightUFC
Out
March 26, 2020
Lee told Ariel Helwani of ESPN (via Chisanga Malata of the Daily Star) that he intends to spend a full year on the sidelines following his loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC Brasilia on March 14.
ANALYSIS
Lee now finds himself at a crossroads in his career, as the 27-year-old has dropped four of his last six bouts, albeit against top-tier competition. After struggles making the 156-pound lightweight limit, Lee briefly moved up to welterweight only to lose his debut against Rafael dos Anjos last May. He moved back down to lightweight for a matchup against Gregor Gillespie in November, and looked highly impressive with a first-round knockout (head kick). It's fair to question if his days at lightweight will be short-lived, however, as Lee missed weight by a hefty 2.5 pounds for his UFC Brasilia matchup and still lost the fight. He even made a big career move by moving his camp to Tristar Gym in Montreal in preparation for this fight, but it's unclear what's next with that move not paying immediate dividends. Lee has fought twice or more each year since entering the UFC in 2014, but it now seems that streak will be broken as he takes some time to reinvent himself in preparation for an eventual 2021 comeback.
Loses after missing weight
LightweightUFC
Out
March 14, 2020
Lee lost to Charles Oliveira via submission (guillotine choke) at 0:28 of Round 3 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Brasilia, Brazil.
ANALYSIS
To recap: Lee flew to Brazil, missed weight, forfeited an undisclosed portion of his purse to Oliveira for the fight to proceed, and then lost. Just like that, it's back to the drawing board for Lee on the heels of a shocking and impressive knockout win over Gregor Gillespie last November. Lee proclaimed to referee Mike Beltran that he didn't tap out but it was clear as day that he did. Lee is a supremely talented athlete with legitimate skills but he continues to be his own worst enemy. The first and most obvious problem is missing weight. Even if he won on Saturday, the fact he missed weight on Friday would have rendered his performance all but irrelevant. He's also too aggressive at times inside the octagon. Lee actually looked halfway decent prior to the stoppage but he left his neck exposed as he pushed forward and he paid for it. It's a mistake that simply cannot happen. Lee recently moved to Montreal to train with TriStar. We'll see if the switch to the Great North improves what has been an up-and-down career to this point.
Fight against Oliveira still on
LightweightUFC
Out
March 13, 2020
Lee's fight against Charles Oliveira at UFC Brasilia on Saturday will still proceed as planned despite Lee missing weight by 2.5 pounds, Raphael Marinho of Combate.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The only thing left undecided is how much of the purse Lee will have to forfeit for not making weight, but for all intents and purposes, the fight will go on. Although, it's certainly fair to question Lee's overall preparation for the event after missing weight by such an egregious amount.