Ahead of his first fight since March last year, Kevin Lee was announcing his new release. By switching to the welterweight category, he revealed that he is already considered a Top 5 fighter and that he is sure that he is the one who offers what it takes to stop Kamaru Usman.
It can be said that he was already slowly looking over the fight against Daniel Rodriguez, with which he was to open his second adventure in the welterweight category. As he is only 28 years old, many believed he had managed to sort himself out and find what it took to fulfill his potential.
Yes, he had such pauses and statements earlier in his career after his return, that in the end, the changes were minimal or non-existent, but this time he seemed really calm, composed, and full of self-confidence. Just like the first round of the fight against Rodriguez, held at the UFC on ESPN 30 show.
And then in the other two rounds, he disappeared. Rodriguez managed to find a distance from which he did not allow Kevin to put him on the floor, and his shots started to work great. In those ten minutes, according to official UFC statistics, Lee was hit with over a hundred significant punches and thus came to the biggest win of his career.
And that as a replacement fighter, accepting the fight just three weeks before the event. Lee had hoped for something else before the winner was announced, but after the referee's decision was read, he congratulated his opponent and left the Octagon with sad faces.
“So this fight was bulls*it,” he uttered via Instastory announcement shortly after the show ended.
What Lee probably doesn’t expect is the possibility that he will have to look for a new employer.
Namely, Dana White said something at the press conference that suggests such thinking. "We'll see what's next for Kevin Lee. Here or not here" White said only briefly, after being asked about the performance of the former challenger for the interim lightweight title.
On the other hand, he praised Rodriguez very loudly and clearly, adding that he delighted him with his character and finally with his performance in the fight. The problem for Lee is certain that he has recorded only two wins in his last seven fights.
As he is only 28 years old, he certainly has time to arrange everything that is needed, but we also know that he has done it a couple of times, and each time he comes back with statements that he has reached his maximum and that only the sky is the limit.
It would be a real shame for Lee to leave the promotion, as he is still an unquestionably quality fighter. But if that happens, there is no doubt that absolutely every noteworthy promotion will be interested in his services.