Khabib Nurmagomedov’s MMA promotion is making big moves.
Just recently, it was announced that Eagle FC will be making their USA debut, come 2022. The promotion was originally based overseas in Europe, but is now looking to take over the world.
With their first U.S. show dated for January 28th in Miami, Florida, Eagle FC has picked up some notable names in their wake. The additions to the roster would include former UFC Champions Renan Barao and Rashad Evans. The promotion wasn’t done yet, they would throw another big name into the mix: Kevin Lee.
‘The Eagle’ Has Landed For Lee
It turns out the free agent would fit into Eagle FC after all. Lee has signed a multi-fight deal with them after negotiating terms earlier this week. The signing was first reported by MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani.
… at 165 pounds.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 15, 2021
It looks like Lee has a fight currently in the works. ‘The Mo-Town Phenom’ will be taking his talents to the Eagle FC cage soon, who is set to debut on March 11th. A date with destiny isn’t the only detail Lee has right now. He also has a new weight class to compete at.
Lee To Fight At 165lbs
Khabib Nurmagomedov would announce the opening of two more weight divisions at a press conference. ‘The Eagle’ will have 165lb and 175lb weight divisions for his fighters, giving more options to the roster.
Lee, a former lightweight, will be competing at 165lbs, a weight class he has been campaigning for since his weight cutting troubles in the UFC. The Detroit-native would suffer some back-to-back losses to current UFC Champ Charles Oliveira and Daniel Rodriguez, while bouncing back and forth between 155 and 170.
“That was a big part of the decision,” Lee said at a Eagle FC press conference on Wednesday. “I’m really grateful that Eagle FC is willing to do a 165lb weight division. I think it’s going to benefit a lot of guys.
“I’m the best one in the world at that weight… It’s a big reason why I’m coming over. I’ll be the first 165lb world champion. There’s been world champions at 155 — 170. I’ll be the first one (at 165) and it feels nice to make a little piece of history for mixed martial arts.”
Eagle FC’s newest signing also has some unorthodox plans for payment in his next fights. Lee will reportedly take his payouts through Bitcoin, per his manager Marquel Martin (via Ariel Helwani).
“Kevin is already deeply invested in crypto,” Martin said. “And now becomes one of the first professional athletes to take his comp in Bitcoin, which facilitates an immediate and cost-effective means to further amplify his position in the Crypto market.”
How It Came To Be
Kevin Lee would be released by the UFC in November, several months after the loss to D-Rod. The former title challenger would look into free agency and find a new home within Eagle FC, after being made offers by PFL and Triller.
Lee spent a lot of his UFC career chasing a fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov. Now with his UFC departure, he has put it aside and will fight for him.