Former interim UFC lightweight title challenger, Kevin ‘The Mo’Town Phenom’ Lee suffered his second consecutive defeat at UFC Vegas 35 on Saturday night — suffering a unanimous decision loss against short-notice replacement, Daniel ‘D-Rod’ Rodriguez in his return to the welterweight limit for the first time in two-years.
Lee, who entered the bout as the #15 ranked lightweight, suffered a unanimous decision loss against the Californian striker, in what came as his first outing since a pair of ACL tears and subsequent surgeries over the course of last year.
Dropping his second consecutive loss, the Michigan native suffered a third round guillotine loss against current undisputed lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira back in March of last year at UFC Fight Night Brasilia — also tipping the scales at 159.5lbs.
The 28-year-old, who has not suffered losses in four of his last Octagon walks having once enjoyed an impressive five-fight winning spree, had claimed that his outing against Rodriguez would mark the beginning of a welterweight title siege, and how he was already a top-five contender in the division, as well as forecasting a future fight against reigning division kingpin, Kamaru Usman.
Off the back of the unanimous judging loss to BMF Ranch trainee, Rodriguez, claimed “that was a sh*t fight” in a brief post on his official Instagram.
Given the fact Lee has now suffered his second straight loss at the welterweight limit following a 2019 UFC Fight Night Rochester main event submission loss against Rafael dos Anjos, as well as his well-documented struggles to make the lightweight limit, it’s unclear if the Grand Rapids wrestler will continue at welterweight or attempt to return to 155lbs.
UFC president, Dana White cast doubt on the immediate fighting future of Lee which the promotion, in particular, explaining how his future with the UFC would be discussed on Tuesday.
“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,” White told assembled media during the UFC Vegas 35 post-fight press conference.
Lee’s most recent victory under the organization’s banner came in the form of a highlight-reel high-kick knockout triumph against the then-undefeated, Gregor Gillespie at UFC 244 back in November 2019 at Madison Square Garden.