Most people seem to think that lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov meant it when he said he was retiring. However Kevin Lee thinks that Khabib will be back, particular for a fight with him.
There was a time where Lee was considered to be a future superstar in the UFC’s lightweight rankings, due to his style and outspoken nature. Unfortunately some key losses along the way would derail these efforts, even leading to a brief stint at welterweight. Since then, he has returned to 155lb, and at just 28 years old he has the opportunity to right the ship and live up to the potential that some laid out in front of him.
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Kevin Lee Thinks Khabib Will Be Back
When Khabib announced his retirement earlier this year, most people agreed that this was likely going to be the case, unless something major presented itself. However Kevin Lee seems to be doubtful that we saw the last of the Dagestani champion. Speaking in a recent interview, he not only said that Khabib would be back, but that he would return to face Kevin, himself.
“He’s going to come back,” Lee explained. “He’s going to come back for one or two of them. It’s just my job to be the one that he’s going to come back for. I’ve got to be big enough for him to come back for.
“I’ve been kinda staying away from everything, been shying away from everything,” Lee continued. “It’s kind of an old Detroit mentality, kinda stay down until you come up. My last come up season was 2017, when I had my last come up season. So the next one, I’ll make sure I’ll give him something to shoot for. He’s still got that fire in him too, I know it. I’ve just got to give him something to shoot for.”
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Explaining The Head Tattoo
Following his loss to Charles Olivera, Kevin Lee made headlines for a different reason (pun intended). He recently unveiled a bold head tattoo that he got, covering the entirety of the back of his head. He explained that this was a samurai helmet, and representative of his new mentality.
“It’s there, but the hair is covering it,” Lee said. “That’s the idea. I didn’t really tell a lot of people, a lot of people got questions about it, but it’s just something to show that I’m fully back and I’m fully committed to this. When I shave my head getting ready for the fight, you’re going to see the full helmet.
“It’s a samurai helmet,” Lee explained. “I’ve always had this weird connection with Japan. After going through (two ACL) surgeries, I needed something to show my warrior mentality…like I can’t (expletive) out of my long runs if I’ve got a helmet on my head. I can’t keep quitting if I’ve got a helmet on my head, and I feel like at this point in my career its all about working hard and showing up in shape and showing up healthy. As long as I’m doing that, this is just a reminder to do that.”
As far as how long the tattoo took to compete, Kevin Lee says it took 42 hours and 4 sessions. This is quite the serious commitment, and one that apparently makes him feel better. Perhaps this head tattoo will give him enough of an edge to build himself up to be someone that Khabib Nurmagomedov wants to fight.