Kevin Lee has made it clear he is looking to sign two bout agreements at once.
Lee is set to headline UFC Brasilia against Charles Oliveira on March 14, yet many expected him to fight Islam Makhachev. After Lee knocked out Gregor Gillespie, he and the Russian went back-and-forth and agreed to fight one another on social media. But, according to “The Motown Phenom” why it isn’t happening next is because Makhachev wanted to wait until June.
“They really only gave me one option which was to fight Islam in June in Russia,” Kevin Lee told BJPENN.com. “June is honestly too long waiting. I want to stay active.”
Although Lee is set to fight Oliveira, he says he won’t sign that bout agreement until the UFC sends him a bout agreement for Makhachev too. He wants to be the first person to sign two bout agreements at once.
“I don’t think it has ever been done before, singing two bout agreements at once. But, these rules are here to be broken,” he explained. “So, it’s something I’m looking to do. I know what I’m trying to get done and I’m ready to hope into training camp.”
Lee is staying active by taking Oliveira. Yet Makhachev claims Lee took the easy way out. Lee doesn’t care what Makhachev says.
“He knows we can still get it. But, the only option they gave to make it big was to fight in Russia in June. But, I’m not interested in waiting. At the end of the day, he’s the one gunning after my spot,” Lee said. “I’m also going to get him and I guarantee he will sit out in June and have six months to prepare while I have to go fight Oliveira. So, is it the easy way out? Hell no, I’m taking the harder route.”
Kevin Lee says he and Islam Makhachev will headline the Russian show in June, no matter the outcome of his fight vs. Oliveira. But, if the 27-year-old wins, he would very well deserve a top-10 opponent, but Lee makes it clear the actual rankings don’t matter to him.
“I don’t look at the rankings like that. I have my own rankings I’m going off of and it’s the guys that are more talented,” he said. “I’m looking at it as a talent perspective, not with all the politics that go into it. Islam is somebody that I feel like is one of the most talented dudes in the division.”
In the end, Kevin Lee knows beating Islam Makhachev can set up a storyline between him and Khabib Nurmagomedov. So, that is part of the reason why he wants the Makhachev fight.
“Yeah kind of, kind of,” Lee concluded. “I’d be lying to you if I said it wasn’t. I’ve kind of being going after the [casual] fans who don’t know who anybody is. They don’t know who Dustin Poirier is, they don’t know who Justin Gaethje is, they don’t really know who Tony Ferguson is. But, they know Khabib and when you beat Khabib’s training partner, something is there. I also want to compete against him because of how he fights. He has similarities to Khabib but he has some differences too. He’s a southpaw and does some things better than Khabib in certain areas.”
If Kevin Lee and Islam Makhachev do end up fighting, who do you think will win?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/30/2020.