Kevin Lee is not a fan of fighting inside of the UFC Apex, but that is where the former lightweight contender will make his Octagon return tomorrow night (Sat., July 1, 2023) at UFC Vegas 76 live on ESPN/ESPN+ from Las Vegas, Nevada, as “Motown Phenom” meets welterweight sensation Rinat Fakhretdinov on the “Prelims” undercard.
Lee, who has always been one of the most outspoken fighters in mixed martial arts (MMA), is making his first walk to the Octagon in nearly two years. The former contender was released by UFC in late 2021 before making an eventual stopover at Eagle FC, where Lee defeated Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision in Mar. 2022. Lee has not competed professionally since then.
While it’s nice to be back in UFC and fighting the best athletes in the sport Lee is still bothered by the idea of competing inside the UFC Apex. Lee spoke with reporters earlier this week and was baffled as to why the promotion is still booking events at the small venue post-pandemic.
On Thursday, Lee joined Morning Kombat to expand on his disgust for the Apex.
“That’s a good question,” answered Lee when asked why this weekend’s card is being held at the UFC Apex. “It ain’t even like, ‘Oh I don’t want to fight at the Apex’, it’s just, I don’t know why any of us are doing it. I mean, I guess it’s probably for the money, but it seems like the UFC is making plenty of money these days.”
He continued, “Part of the appeal of being a martial artist is traveling the world and fighting. It’s traveling and seeing, going on these experiences and you know, fighting over in Brazil. Fighting over in Ireland, fighting over in Japan, and doing these types of things. I just don’t want to get away from that, just for money.”
“It seems like we’re killing the sport for money, and that I’m not cool with.”
This may be an extreme outlook on the UFC Apex situation, but do you think Lee has a point? Is UFC taking away from the sport of MMA by not traveling and making events a global spectacle?
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 76 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ preliminary card bouts at 4 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN/ESPN+ main card start time at 7 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 76 news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archives here and here. For the updated and finalized “Strickland vs. Magomedov” fight card and ESPN/ESPN+ line up click here.