Friday, December 9, 2022

Kevin Lee: I Knew I Wasn’t Ready For Tony Ferguson

Former UFC interim lightweight title challenger Kevin Lee wasn’t ready for the spotlight that came with his fight against Tony Ferguson.

Lee was recently released by the UFC in a stunning move by the promotion. Despite losses in four of his last five fights, he had faced stiff competition, including Charles Oliveira and Rafael dos Anjos.

Lee’s first true taste of free agency didn’t last long, as he opted to sign with Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s Eagle FC promotion. It was arguably the biggest signing by a mid-tier promotion in 2021.

Lee was once thought of as one of the top lightweight prospects in the world, leading up to his loss to Ferguson at UFC 216. He had risen to the top of the lightweight division with wins in nine of his previous ten bouts.

During a recent interview with The Schmo, Lee was blatantly honest when discussing if he would’ve done anything different during his UFC tenure.

“I’m not gonna say I would do it differently because I don’t regret anything. I might have done some stuff better though,” Lee said. “When I first made like, the big push, when you see me do the Michael Chiesa thing. I didn’t know that that was gonna happen, no regrets, no regrets. But even afterwards, the calling out Tony Ferguson, and getting that fight way too soon, way before I was supposed to get that fight.

UFC 216 Results: The Real Winners and Losers from Ferguson vs Lee Fight  Card | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights
Tony Ferguson (left) and Kevin Lee (right)Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

“Sometimes I regret it, I’m not gonna lie to you. Sometimes I regret having that overriding confidence to do something you know you shouldn’t do. I knew I wasn’t ready for Tony, at the time I took that fight. I just was like, ‘Alright, we gonna do it. Gonna put my balls out there and we’re gonna see what it is.’ My balls was bigger than my brain.”

Lee has previously discussed just how brutal the buildup was to his fight with Ferguson. He’s mentioned that the weight-cutting process for the interim title bout made him delirious and physically depleted as he cut down to the 155-pound limit.

Lee is slated to make his Eagle FC debut against Diego Sanchez in March in a 165-pound matchup. It’ll be his prime opportunity to get back on track after recent struggles in the UFC.

Do you think Kevin Lee will ever eventually return to the UFC?