Kevin Lee Comes Up With A Plan For Fighting At 165 Pounds
Former UFC interim lightweight title challenger Kevin Lee has been one of the advocates for creating a 165 pound weight division. During the UFC 236 seasonal press conference, one particular “schmo” asked Dana White when he would start the new division, to which the UFC President said that wouldn’t happen.
Kevin Lee was also present during the press conference, and couldn’t help but laugh at the question (the way it was presented), and Dana White’s cheeky retort. However, Lee still hopes that UFC and Dana change their minds, and create the new division for the sake of the fighters. While he no longer intends to be at the forefront of this discussion, Kevin told the media during UFC 236 pay-per-view that he might just make a deal with Rafael dos Anjos, with both the fighters showing up at 165 pounds when they square off in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 9.
“Maybe, it might be a little backroom deal that we got on there”, Lee answered, when asked if he’d thought about suggesting this arrangement (transcript via MMAJunkie). “‘RDA’ is kind of, he don’t really give you too much to go off of, and he don’t really give you too much back and forth, so, you know – I’ll ask him, see what he thinks about it.
“If he’s down with it, I’d be down – and I’d cut an extra little five pounds for that, make a statement, make some noise. It’s in our contract, we ain’t got to, but I like to push some buttons.”
While Dana White has denied the possibility of UFC creating a new division, Kevin Lee still remains optimistic. We have seen a lot of fighters moving up weight classes, with Anthony Pettis recently surprising many with his audacious win over Stephen Thompson. Lee believes that the fighters can only perform better when they don’t have to cut weight.
“I think it’s inevitable”, Lee said. “I think we all kind of see that. I think it creates more work for them, and they don’t really see that much more benefit out of it. But, at the end of the day, when you talk about fighter safety and you talk about not having to dehydrate your brain and getting to fight a similar opponent, that’s what we’re looking for, is an even playing field.
“That’s why I’m actually glad that ‘RDA’ is going up – and you see (Anthony) Pettis go up, you see Jorge (Masvidal), you see a lot of other guys go up – just so we can fight on an even playing field. If I don’t have to dehydrate myself and dehydrate my brain 16 more pounds, please don’t make me. I think, for fighters’ safety, it has to be done. It’s just making more work for them, but I can’t tell somebody else how to do their job, so I’m going to do mine.”