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Why Was Kevin Lee Removed From UFC and Terminated From His Contract?



Kevin Lee

Former lightweight contender Kevin Lee is officially cut from the UFC. Lee has fought for the interim title once during his run in the UFC. The Detroit native was one of the brightest prospects in the lightweight division during the initial days. Kevin came into the UFC with a lot of hype around him.

However, Lee stumbled in his debut fight against Al Iaquinta. The fight took place on February 1st, 2014. Since losing to Al Iaquinta, Lee went on to fight 17 more times in the UFC. He has a career record of 18 wins and 7 losses in his 25 fights. He got into the UFC with an unbeaten record of 7-0.

Kevin Lee

credit: MMA Junkie

Kevin Lee had 18 fights during his 7-year long career. He is one of the most talented fighters in the lightweight division. But he was never able to put all of his eggs into one basket and go to the top. The pinnacle of his UFC career was the fight against Tony Ferguson at UFC 216. Lee almost won the fight via submission as he had Ferguson in a triangle.

Since that fight in 2017, Kevin Lee has had a very up and down road in the organization. He fought only 6 times in 4 years. Lee struggled with the weight cut to 155 lbs. Hence, he tried his hand at the welterweight division as well. The 29-year old has moved around the two weight classes for his last few fights with little to no success. 

Kevin Lee had two fights left in his UFC contract

Marquel Martin, the manager of Kevin Lee, has spoken to MMA Junkie following the news. In the interview, he stated that releasing Kevin Lee was a mistake. Martin said, “The UFC’s decision to release Kevin is disappointing and unfortunate.”  Kevin is young, talented, and has fought some of the toughest guys on the UFC’s roster. I think UFC made the wrong decision in releasing him, but we all believe there are brighter days ahead. “

‘The Motown Phenom’ lost 4 of his last 6 fights. With only 2 wins in the last 4 years, the release does not come as a shock. Lee joined “Tristar Gym” in Canada, which is run by Firas Zahabi. Fighters such as George St-Pierre and Rory McDonald have come through the system and gone on to achieve tremendous heights. But in the case of Kevin Lee, it did not work out as he never regained the momentum he lost before his defeat against Tony Ferguson.