At UFC Vegas 35, Kevin Lee attempted to make his mark on the welterweight division, but Daniel Rodriguez sent the former lightweight packing.
In a very exciting fight that saw the judges’ scorecards, Kevin Lee was able to implement his grappling early in the scrap against Rodriguez. As the fight progressed, it seemed like the striking of “D-Rod” was slowly wearing Lee down. Even though the “Motown Phenom” had sought dominance at welterweight in 2019 before, he failed against Rafael dos Anjos. Despite the hardship, Lee still entered the fight brimming with confidence. Though perhaps misplaced, as the natural 170er in Rodriguez seemed to be quite comfortable in boxing range. With the assistance of some sneaky leg kicks, the story of the night was the sharp hands of Rodriguez without a doubt.
Prior to the action going down in the Octagon, Lee had been away from competition since his loss to the lightweight champ, Charles Oliveira back in March of 2020. Taking time to evolve with the assistance of the great Faras Zahabi, it was clear Lee facilitated the move into the 170-pound weight class in a healthy manner. While Lee looked stellar early on, he once again gassed over time and struggled to defend himself properly in the later portions of the fight.
Stepping in on two weeks’ short notice, Rodriguez got the job done. After the fact, Kevin Lee posted a brief message on Instagram Stories relaying his dissatisfaction with the result.
“Well, that was a sh** fight.” Kevin Lee posted.
As shown above, it was clear by round two that the hands of Rodriguez were taking over the fight. Despite putting up a great effort, Lee took his second loss in a row at UFC Vegas 35 against “D-Rod”. Afterward, UFC president Dana White didn’t seem too keen on keeping Lee around much longer either.
“That’s a thing that we will get together on Tuesday and talk about and figure out what’s next for him — here or not here,” Dana White said at the UFC Vegas 35 post-fight press conference.
As the UFC brass is already planting seeds for Lee’s departure, there will definitely be some pivotal discussions surrounding his UFC career following his second loss at welterweight. With fighters like Sam Alvey holding six losses in a row in the organization, maybe another fight for Lee is not out of the cards.
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