One-time interim UFC lightweight title challenger, Kevin Lee has featured just once as high as welterweight during his seventeen fight stint with the promotion, however, ahead of his projected return from injury this summer, he’s got sights fixed on a return to 170lbs.
Headlining UFC Fight Night Brasilia in March of last year, Lee tipped the lightweight scales at 158.5lbs, marking the second occasion in the UFC where he missed weight for a lightweight bout, and overall, the fourth time in his professional career.
The Detriot contender went on to suffer an eventual third round guillotine loss to Charles Oliveira — who battles former three-time Bellator lightweight champion, Michael Chandler in the main event of UFC 262 this weekend, for vacant 155lbs spoils.
Requiring a surgical procedure to repair a torn ACL following his Brasilia defeat to Sao Paulo-born grappling sensation, Oliviera, Lee would go on to suffer a second ACL tear in his other knee, as he recovered from the initial surgery.
Targeting a return to active competition this summer, the Michigan-born all-rounder originally floated the possibility of a re-run against Tony Ferguson, who he dropped an interim lightweight title challenge to back in October of 2017 at UFC 216, however, Ferguson draws Kings MMA staple, Beneil Dariush this weekend in Houston, Texas.
Taking to his official Twitter yesterday, Lee announced his intentions to move to the welterweight limit, before suggesting return bouts against both Mike Perry and former division kingpin, Robbie Lawler at UFC 264 on July 10th.
“I’m moving to 170lbs for the foreseeable future,” Lee tweeted. “(Charles) Oliveira can have the lightweights we’ll get that back later.“
His March defeat to Oliveira came as Lee’s fourth blemish in his last five Octagon appearances. Briefly snapping his slide at UFC 244 in November of 2019 at Madison Square Garden, under the banner of Tristar MMA with Firas Zahabi for the first time, Lee stopped the then-undefeated wrestling standout, Gregor Gillespie with a highlight-reel high-kick knockout.