Kevin Lee Says Kamaru Usman’s Recent Win Behind Decision to Make Welterweight Return
By FCF Staff
Kevin Lee’s initial move to welterweight didn’t go according to plan. But, after seeing Kamaru Usman put away Jorge Masvidal earlier this year, the fighters says he decided a return to welterweight was in order.
Lee has fought at lightweight for the majority of his UFC run and faced Tony Ferguson for an interim title in 2017. Following his loss to Ferguson, Lee competed at lightweight two more times, before taking a welterweight fight with Rafael Dos Anjos.
The 28-year-old was submitted in that contest, and Lee decided to return to lightweight. But, more recently the well-rounded fighter was booked for a July 10 bout with rising welterweight, Sean Brady. While discussing when he made the decision to return to 170 pounds, Lee told ‘The Schmo‘ the following (quotes via MMA Junkie).
“At the Kamaru Usman fight,” Lee said. “After he beat Masvidal the way that he beat him, I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s me. I’m big too.’ This is the first time that I’ve ever lifted, really ever since college, so it’s been over 10 years since I’ve really lifted weights. But to come back off the knee surgeries, I’ve been doing a lot of weight lifting, and I’m moving around middleweights and stuff, so I’m ready.”
In addition, Lee also made this prediction.
“I’m already at the top of the division,” Lee said. “Me and Kamaru have locked eyes before, and I feel like that’s a match that needs to be made eventually. But for this one, I’m taking Sean Brady’s spot. He’s top 15, but he hasn’t fought anybody yet. He’s still young in his career. I mean, we’re the same age, but I’ve kind of done everything that he’s done twice almost. His biggest win is over Jake Matthews; I beat him five years ago. It took me a round to do it, it took him three rounds, so I’m here to take his spot.”
Lee (18-6), who has battled injuries over the last year, hasn’t competed since March, 2020 when he was submitted by now, new, lightweight champ, Charles Oliveira.