In late 2017, Kevin Lee was ranked one spot above Dustin Poirier in the UFC lightweight Top 10 and scored an interim 155-pound title shot against Tony Ferguson, thanks to a five-fight winning streak put together by the “Motown Phenom,” one that included four finishes.
Not too shabby.
Unfortunately for Lee, the Ferguson bout ended in a submission loss and what followed was a career collapse, to the tune of four losses in his next six fights, a pair of scale fails, a devastating knee injury, his coach’s suicide, and a failed drug test for amphetamines.
UFC released Lee late last month.
“Don’t take these tough fights. I ain’t going to lie to you, don’t do it. Cherry pick. That’s what they really want to see,” Lee warned up-and-coming fighters on The MMA Hour (transcribed by Shaun Al-Shatti). “Man, they’re going to be your best friend when they want you to take the fight, they’ll damn near get on their hands and knees. But then afterward they’ll kick you to the curb. People told me that going into the UFC too. They told me that same thing. I didn’t really listen, I just kept trying to give them what they want. But don’t even do that. Cherry pick. Cherry pick like a MF’er. You’ll get further that way.”
Sorry, only rich people like this guy get to pick and choose.
Lee, 29, dropped to 18-7 with his recent loss to Daniel Rodriguez last August. No doubt the “Motown Phenom” is frustrated by this recent turn of events; but at the same time, Lee was the betting favorite in losses to Rodriguez, Rafael dos Anjos, and Al Iaquinta.
Now for some good news:
“Eagle FC is ready to give Kevin Lee a new home,” Eagle FC CEO Rizvan Magomedov told Damon Martin.
Maybe Lee can crash that “big press conference” Khabib has planned for Dec. 15 in Miami.