Kevin Lee is the former UFC Lightweight division runner-up and a former TWC Lightweight champion.
Kevin Jesse Lee, Jr.
The Motown Phenom
18 Wins // 6 Losses // 0 Draws
Kevin Lee is currently 27 years old according to his date of birth September 4, 1992.
5 ft 9 in or 175 cm
155 lbs (70 kg)
77 inches (195 cm)
Team: Xtreme Couture
Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
$1 Million (approximately)
Kevin Lee is known as one of the strongest Lightweight competitors of all time. As a former wrestler, he is known for very attractive throws and slams, especially when he succeeds to grab the opponent off his back. In the clinch, he sometimes places a knee to the body but rather tries to trap opponent from behind and execute a standing rear naked choke attempt.
When it comes to striking, his jab-right cross is world-wide known, and he often uses these two punches to start a combo. He is also known for the left hook and great high kicks. His counterpunches are very explosive and almost always find its mark.
On the ground, Kevin Lee tries submissions and punches equally. His best submission is rear-naked choke (5 victories), armbar, and standing guillotine choke. He is the most dangerous when he puts his hand under the rival’s chin and wraps his leg around the opponent’s waist. He prefers hooks and uppercuts over straight punches in ground and pound game.
The Road To The Top
Kevin Lee had his MMA debut on March 31, 2012, at Instinct MMA: Instinct Fighting 3, where he defeated Levis Labrie via unanimous decision.
The Motown Phenom joined the UFC with the score of 7-0, as an undefeated fighter. He had three decision and four submission victories. He defeated Travis Gervais after only 46 seconds in the first round via armbar, which is his fastest victory!
Kevin Lee – UFC Career
Kevin Lee had his UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale on July 6, 2014, where he defeated Jesse Ronson via split decision.
The Motown Phenom faced Jon Tuck at UFC 178 on September 27, 2014, and earned one more victory via unanimous decision.
Lee defeated Michel Prazeres on February 14, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 60, again via unanimous decision.
His next opponent was James Moontasri on July 15, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 71. Kevin Lee got his back in the middle of the first round and won the fight via rear-naked choke.
Kevin Lee suffered his first loss to Leonardo Santos on December 12, 2015, at UFC 194, via first-round TKO.
Efrain Escudero gave The Motown Phenom a hard time on April 23, 2016, at UFC 197. Lee won the fight via unanimous decision, and the fight was amazing to watch.
His next rival was Jake Matthews, at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale on July 8, 2016. Kevin Lee won after a world-class TKO in the first round.
Lee defeated Magomed Mustafaev at UFC Fight Night 99 on November 19, 2016, via rear-naked choke in the second round, earning his first Performance of the Night bonus.
Kevin Lee had a very hard first round versus Francisco Trinaldo on March 11, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 106, but he switched into sixth gear and won via rear-naked choke in the second.
Kevin Lee Vs Michael Chiesa – Controversy
Two fighters fought on June 25, 2017, at the main event of UFC Fight Night 112. Michael Chiesa even laughed at the weigh-in as a response to Lee’s offensive words and threats. The officials stopped the bigger incident.
The Motown Phenom slammed Chiesa hard on the ground at the second minute of the match. Lee won via textbook rear-naked choke at the end of the first round, earning his second Performance Of The Night award.
However, Chiesa appealed to Oklahoma State Athletic Commission to overturn the defeat, claiming Mario Yamasaki made an error for stopping the fight since he didn’t tap out or lost consciousness. Chiesa also claimed that Kevin Lee was using illegal downward elbows on the ground, which cut his head open.
Kevin Lee Vs Tony Ferguson – UFC Lightweight Interim Title Fight
Conor McGregor didn’t fight since his victory over Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, so UFC decided to give the chance to Kevin Lee and Tony Ferguson for a Lightweight Interim belt. The two crossed their gloves on October 7, 2017, at the main event of UFC 216.
Before the fight, Kevin Lee did an insane weight cut – he dropped from 176 to 156 pounds in less than one week! In the morning of the weigh-in, Lee had 161 pounds and his team was putting boiling water into a hot tube with him. He weighed 156 pounds at the first attempt and he was given additional hour but things turned shady.
Lee claimed that he doesn’t remember much from this extra hour, and he didn’t even know where he was. The Motown Phenom passed from the second attempt despite he was battling a staph infection – 154.5 pounds. This historical weight cut could even kill him!
Despite starting off strong and probably winning first two rounds, Kevin Lee was defeated by triangle choke in the third.
Kevin Lee Vs Edson Barboza
Kevin Lee faced Edson Barboza on April 21, 2018, at UFC Fight Night 128. The Motown Phenom had 157 pounds at the weigh-ins, which was one pound over the UFC Lightweight non-title limit. The bout was held as Catchweight but 20% of Lee’s purse was given to Edson Barboza.
Kevin Lee was dominating the fight all the time and didn’t let Barboza land his brutal kicks and punches. Lee defeated Barboza via doctor stoppage (cut) at the middle of the fifth round.
Kevin Lee – Next Fight
It is currently unknown who his next opponent will be. Lee has speculated that he would like to face Conor McGregor until the end of 2018, and he also claimed that he would be a real challenge for Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Kevin Lee is single, and he likes to keep his private life within the limit. There were no rumors of affairs or girlfriends, and he hasn’t spoken about it or engaging in public yet.
Kevin Lee – Social Media Profiles
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/motownphenom/?hl=en
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Kevin-Lee-The-Motown-Phenom-388157701314374/
- Twitter – https://twitter.com/motownphenom?lang=en