Former interim UFC lightweight championship chaser, Kevin Lee has not shut the door firmly on a return to the 155lbs division ahead of his welterweight return this weekend at UFC Vegas 35 — insisting that he deserves a re-run with current champion, Charles Oliveira.
Marking his Octagon comeback this weekend at UFC Vegas 35 against short-notice replacement, Daniel Rodriguez — Grand Rapids native, Lee last featured in March of last year against the aforenoted, Oliveira — where he suffered his third defeat in four Octagon walks in the form of a UFC Fight Night Brasilia main event guillotine blemish.
In the time since, Lee has been sidelined with a pair of unfortunate ACL tears in both knees, while Oliveira would score a one-sided unanimous decision victory over former interim titleholder and common-opposition, Tony Ferguson at UFC 256 in December, before scooping the vacant lightweight crown with a stunning, rallying effort against Michael Chandler at UFC 262 in May.
Whilst Oliveira sits atop the lightweight pile strapped with gold, in the midst of an eight-fight undefeated run which includes his guillotine stoppage over Lee, the Michigan native maintains that he would return to the lightweight limit if offered a future re-run with the Brazilian.
“Are we done at 155lbs?” Lee was asked on The MMA Hour recently.
“Yeah, I think so. The only fight I would come back for is the (Charles) Oliveira rematch,” Lee said. “I feel like I deserve that fight. That would have been a good one to have. If he racks up a couple more, we’ll see how that plays out. If they offer me that fight. I’ll go back to fight Oliveira. Nobody else though.“
It’s been a notoriously difficult cut to the lightweight limit for Lee in the past, the most recent of which came in his aforenoted bout with Oliveira — where he tipped the scales at 158.5lbs in his trip to South America.
Lee also headlined a UFC Fight Night Atlantic City event back in April of 2018 against UFC Vegas 35 headliner, Edson Barboza — where he eventually scored a fifth round doctor’s stoppage victory, however, landed at the scales at 157lbs for the lightweight main event.
For his fourth and fifth professional fights, Lee missed weight on consecutive occasions, coming in at both 158lbs and 157lbs, respectively.
Lee’s first outing at the welterweight limit came back in May of 2019 at UFC Fight Night Rochester where he suffered a headlining loss against former lightweight kingpin, Rafael dos Anjos in a fourth round arm-triangle defeat.
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