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Kevin Lee: Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal are fighting for the ‘little boys title’ at UFC 244

Just a few days after Benson Henderson downplayed the importance of the “BMF” title Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal will fight for at UFC 244 on Nov. 2, 2019, another fighter is coming out and voicing his disapproval.

Kevin Lee — who recently made the trip back down to Lightweight from Welterweight — tells MMA Junkie that the reason he dropped back down is because the 170-pound division had become stagnant. And he’s not wrong, in a sense, as the division is as stacked as it gets, but trying to book a meaningful title fight has proven difficult, though UFC did finally come to terms with Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington to fight at UFC 245.

But when UFC couldn’t get either Usman or Covington to headline UFC 244, the promotion created the “BMF” strap.

“It was a lot of factors,” Lee says of his reasons to drop down. “Lightweight was starting to get a lot more momentum going, especially after the way Khabib (Nurmagomedov) beat Dustin (Poirier) the way that he did, and there’s so many moving parts.

“Welterweight has kind of gotten a little stagnant,” he added. “They’re doing this new title now that Masvidal and Diaz are fighting for. It’s kind of a little boys title.”

What really grinds Lee’s gears is the fact that the promotion went out of its way to spend money — upward of $50,000 — on creating the “BMF” title instead of creating a 165-pound belt (and division).

Something he’s campaigned for repeatedly.

“They should have made a 165-pound title if they’re going to make another one,” Lee said. “I mean, I hate to beat a dead horse like that, but because there was so little movement up there (welterweight), and my body naturally just wanted to go back down to 155, so I feel like this is the right move to do.”

While Lee may have a point, at the end of the day Diaz and Masvidal are two of the biggest needle-movers at the moment. And as history has shown, if fighters can bring in the numbers the promotion will bend over backward to make them happy.

After just one fight at 170 pounds — a loss to Rafael dos Anjos — “The Motown Phenom” will head back to 155 pounds to face Gregor Gillespie at the same UFC 244 event in New York City.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 244 fight card this weekend RIGHT HERE, starting with the Fight Pass/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 244: “Masvidal vs. Diaz” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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