Kevin Lee was known for fighting the best of the best in his UFC run but admits he is jealous of how Sean O’Malley’s career has panned out.
Lee was someone who was always calling to fight the best as he called out Khabib Nurmagomedov years before he became the lightweight champ and was considered one of the greatest fighters of all time. He also fought the likes of Tony Ferguson at the peak of his run, fought Rafael dos Anjos in his welterweight debut and after knocking out Gregor Gillespie to give Gillespie his first career loss, he took on Charles Oliveira. After being submitted by Oliveira, he tore both his ACLs and returned at welterweight against a tough Daniel Rodriguez.
With that, Lee admits he is jealous of the way O’Malley is taking fights and not taking the toughest fights until he has to.
“I’ve got to tip my hat to Sean O’Malley,” Lee said on “The Schmozone Podcast” (via MMAJunkie). “He knows how to come up. He did it the right way. Honestly, I wish I would have took a couple of pages or two out of his book and had that ability to kind of pick and choose my fights and put on great performances like that. He’s doing it the right way.
Kevin Lee Explains Why He Is Jealous Of Sean O’Malley
“I’m not mad at him for it. I’m a little jealous, I ain’t going to lie. He doesn’t have to fight jiu-jitsu black belts and then in the next fight, fight a world-class striker and then fight a world-champion kickboxer and then fight a wrestler. He doesn’t have to do that. I’m a little jealous. But I tip my hat to him for doing that, though,” Lee continued.
Sean O’Malley has been vocal about not wanting to fight ranked opponents until he gets paid more money to fight them. That is something Lee perhaps could have done and had he done that, he likely still would be on the UFC roster instead of fighting in Eagle FC.