Kevin Lee is moving up to welterweight to take on the former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos in the main event of UFC Rochester this Saturday. Although “The Motown Phenom” is moving up in weight he is not done for good in the lightweight division.
Instead, he has hopes of fighting a few lightweights in particular before his career is over.
“In no sense am I completely done with 155. There are still a lot of great fights to be had with Khabib (Nurmagomedov) being one of them,” Lee said to BJPENN.com. “That is still something I am looking forward to in the future. We are going to have a date. Me and Khabib, me and Conor (McGregor) it is just inevitable those fights happen. As competitors, we know that. But, I’m kind of shifting my focus to take out (Kamaru) Usman. I want that welterweight title. When I look at him stylistically he is a tougher match. He is bigger, more well-rounded, he doesn’t have that name recognition like someone like Khabib or Conor and all these guys have. This ain’t a bad consolation. Then you never know [those lightweights] may come up and challenge for the belt.”
While Nurmagomedov, McGregor and Usman are priorities for Kevin Lee, there are also two other welterweights he wants to fight: Colby Covington and Ben Askren.
“Askren is still kind of hanging on that takedown he got against a 20-year-old me. He forgot about all the right hands I hit him with before that,” he explained. “There are some questions that can be answered in that. There are a lot of great fights at 170. You got Askren, Colby Covington who is still out there. Tons of others. A lot of great fights. Askren and Colby are guys I would want to fight.”
A Well-Rounded Kevin Lee
Against these five very different opponents, Kevin Lee knows he’d have to implement very different game plans.
“Each matchup is different, each style is different. My number one goal since starting this sport was to be the most well-rounded fighter. I’m still on that. I will show that on Saturday,” Lee said. “I will get back to what makes me me. I’m going to press forward and that is what I would do to any of those guys. If I show up to the fight against any of those guys I don’t think they could handle my pressure, my style. I can switch things up and we will see. Those will be interesting in the future.”
Ultimately, Kevin Lee is focused on Saturday when he takes on Rafael dos Anjos. Yet he is hoping he gets to meet the five opponents mentioned above over the coming years of his career.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/16/2019.