Kevin Lee is set to return to the lightweight division at UFC 244 in New York.
There, the “Motown Phenom” will be taking on the undefeated Gregor Gillespie in a very risky fight. In fact, Lee says this is the stupidest fight he could have taken, but it’s a scrap he wanted to take nonetheless.
“It is a crazy risky fight, it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. For any manager to look at it, they would say don’t take this fight. For me as a fighter, these are the fights I kind of want,” Lee told BJPENN.com. “He is really dangerous, he can make the fight really boring even if you do beat him. Like you said, a lot of casual fans are going to be watching this card and it is up to me to put on a statement.”
Lee recently moved up to welterweight, and although lost to Rafael dos Anjos, he had some success in the fight. Yet, he says he always knew he would be returning to 155 pounds.
“There was too much unfinished business at lightweight to not go back. I didn’t necessarily know it was going to be this fast, to be honest with you,” he said. “But, once the timing worked out… now was the right time and the last fight I learned a lot.”
Kevin Lee will be looking to hand Gregor Gillespie his first loss as a pro. He knows just how good of a wrestler “The Gift” is, but believes in MMA he is the better all-around fighter.
“At the end of the day, this is not a wrestling match. He is the most decorated wrestler at 155, and pretty much he is one of the most decorated wrestlers in the UFC,” Lee explained. “That is going to be the whole goal, he will know this is not a wrestling match. I’m going to use all my tools, my striking, my kicks, my wrestling against him and my jiu-jitsu. It will be a damn good fight, it will educate a lot of fans.”
Kevin Lee is on a two-fight skid, and considers this one of the most important fights of his career. It may also be his toughest, but he believes he has the skillset to win it.
“This is huge. This is an incredibly risky fight and I know my back is against the wall. He is undefeated, he has never tasted a loss, and I am coming off two losses,” Lee explained. “My back is against the wall and a wounded animal is the most dangerous. I’m going out swinging and coming out hard. I just hope he is ready for that. I learned a lot from my losses and will show that more than anything.
“Each fight is the biggest fight for me. I’m approaching this one as if I am on a 10-fight winning streak. I’m going to use my tools to get the W. It doesn’t matter,” he continued. “Do I think they will cut me? Of course not, I think I can go four or five losses, to be honest with you. That is not on my radar.”
Lee has recently been training under the tutelage of Firas Zahabi at Tristar in Montreal, and feels he has made huge improvements at the gym. He has kept much of his training a secret but it is known he has worked with Georges St-Pierre for this fight.
After a full camp where he says he has improved a ton as a fighter, Lee is determined to start handing out losses.
“I am gunning for 0s at this point. Khabib has an 0, I’m gunning for that one, Gregor has an 0, I’m going to get that one first. This one is huge, no one has figured Gregor out yet,” Lee explained. “He is one of the best wrestlers, I mean he would be in the Olympics if it weren’t for Jordan Burroughs being in his weight class. I feel like once I go out there and show what I can do to him, it will show what I can do to the rest of the lightweights.”
In the end, Kevin Lee is more than ready for this fight and knows he will get his hand raised at the end of it.
“I plan on putting on a show and giving the fans their money’s worth,” Lee concluded.
Who do you think will win the fight between Kevin Lee and Gregor Gillespie at UFC 244?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/29/2019.