Kevin Lee: Politics At Lightweight Resulted In Move To Welterweight
Kevin Lee will face former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos in the main event of UFC Rochester, but it won’t be in the 155 lbs division. Instead, ‘Motown Phenom’ will face dos Anjos at 170 lbs. Kevin Lee’s decision to move up a weight class surprised many. However, Lee recently opened up about the real reason why he decided to make the move to welterweight.
On the most recent edition of The MMA Hour, Kevin Lee talked about the lightweight division being stagnant.
“A lot of [the lightweight division] kinda went stagnant, which is a real shame”, Lee said (transcript via BJPenn.com). “I mean, it’s always been one of the best divisions in the UFC. There’s just so many ups and so many questions. And part of me was like, this is where I said I wanted to be, and this is where I started and where I’m gonna finish, especially with fighting Khabib. But when I looked at it, like, okay, I’m not going to sit around and wait.
“It’s too many politics going on. Like you said, Max is now fighting Dustin, Tony’s sitting out — which, I’m sad about that whole situation — and all these other things, and nobody wants to fight, and guys only want these certain fights just to push them up, and Conor’s kinda calling the shots still. And I’m like, you know what, f*ck all of this. I’m mostly worried about me anyway. To me, I’m the top dog. So it’s what’s best for my career and going forward.
“Those fights are still going to be out there”, continued Lee. “I still am 100 percent confident I can make 155 again, but we’ll see after. I prefer this fight at 170; 155, they need to get their shit together. That’s all. I think it’ll come together towards the end of this year, but I wasn’t about to sit around and wait for them.”