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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Kevin Lee after loss at UFC on FOX 31?

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Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC on FOX 31 went down last Saturday night (Dec. 15, 2018) inside Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Dan Hooker, who was systematically picked apart by Edson Barboza and his violent body shots (recap here). And Jim Miller, who was submitted in just 75 seconds by Charles Oliviera.

But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?

Kevin Lee.

Going into his rematch against Al Iaquinta, Lee was confident he made enough improvements to get one back on the man who ruined his Octagon debut four years ago. Since that loss to “Ragin’” in 2014, “The Motown Phenom” proved to be a legit contender at Lightweight going 10-2, working his way up to an interim title fight against Tony Ferguson. Though he ultimately came up short against “El Cucuy,” Lee showed he was going to be a tough out for anyone.

Still, Iaquinta was as consistent as they came during that span, as well, going 5-2 and taking part in a Lightweight title fight against Khabib Nurmagomdedov, bringing the current 155-pound champion the distance in a hard-fought, five-round fight.

In the rematch, which was mostly played out on the feet, both men had their shining moments, but it was Iaquinta who was the one pushing the pace, taking it to Lee while eating a few shots to deliver his own. While Al’s striking isn’t exactly the most technical, it is effective, and he found a spot for his right hand all night, busting up Lee for a good portion of the fight.

In the end, Iaquinta had once again done enough to impress all three judges.

Much to the chagrin of Lee, of course.

“You know, I’m devastated. Embarrassed. You know these sports sometimes have like the lowest of lows. You know I really don’t feel lower than I do right now, but I’ll be alright. You know, I might not get another shot at Al (Iaquinta). I’ve fought a lot of great fighters in my career and he’s definitely up there. We’ll see what comes next,” said Lee post-fight.

As for what’s next for Kevin, there are several of options out there for him to consider. One I would really like to see him chew on is a potential fight against Anthony Pettis. “Showtime” was last seen taking part in a highly-entertaining scrap against Tony Ferguson, which he ultimately lost due to a broken hand.

Both Pettis and Lee like to bang on the feet, so this fight would be a treat to fans and give one of the combatants a huge win over a top-ranked foe. While Lee expected to face a bigger name such as Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier or even Khabib with a victory, taking on Pettis is not a bad consolation prize coming off a loss.

For complete UFC on FOX 31 results, including play-by-play, click here