Former interim title challenger Kevin Lee has been released by the UFC.
The lightweight fighter known as “Motown Phenom” is no longer with the UFC. News of Kevin Lee’s release was first revealed by MMA Fighting on Tuesday. The 29-year-old competed with the organization for seven years, with eighteen appearances. Additionally, he departed from the UFC with an overall promotional record of 11-7. Lee had his UFC debut in 2014. The lightweight had a stiff opponent for a debut when he was tasked with facing Al Iaquinta.
A Look At Kevin Lee’s UFC Run
Following his loss to Iaquinta in 2014, Lee fired off four straight victories with the UFC. The lightweight continued his momentum until running into Leonardo Santos in 2015 at UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor. Once again, Lee would learn from his UFC losses and go unbeaten for almost two years. In that span of time, Lee managed to secure submission victories against Francisco Trinaldo and Michael Chiesa.
In 2017, Lee earned himself a shot at interim lightweight gold when he was paired against Tony Ferguson. While the “Motown Phenom” had early successes with his striking, takedowns, and top pressure, he ultimately folded under the relentless pressure of “El Cucuy”. Despite inflicting some serious damage on Ferguson, Lee was caught in a grappling exchange in the third round and was submitted by a triangle choke.
Lee would return and take on perennial contender Edson Barboza. The fight was exciting and featured every dimension of mixed martial arts. While a damaging kick would catch Lee resting on his laurels, it was not enough to extinguish his consciousness. The fight lasted until the fifth round, where Lee was awarded the hard-fought victory after a doctor stopped the contest due to a nasty cut on Barboza.
Prior to Kevin Lee’s release, the lightweight admitted to using Adderall, a stimulant ADHD medication. After coming clean on social media, Kevin Lee was slapped with a suspension by USADA. Following the drug test violation, Lee was suspended from action for six months. Roughly a month ago, Kevin Lee took to social media to share the impending suspension news with his fans and had the following to say.
“I have tested over the limit allowed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in my most recent fight. In 2018 I was diagnosed with Adult ADHD, it has always affected me. I did not discover real treatment for the diagnosis until 2020 when I was recovering from my double knee surgeries. I was prescribed Adderall from a doctor to improve my mental Health. I told representatives from USADA but did not apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption from the NSAC before my last fight. For that, I truly apologize to the UFC, the commission, my opponent, Dana White, the matchmakers, Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard, and the fans.” Kevin Lee shared.
What promotion do you think Kevin Lee would fit best in?