Coach says he saw ‘warning signs’ ahead of Kevin Lee’s failed UFC comeback

By Susan Cox - July 5, 2023

Coach Javier Mendez says he saw ‘warning signs’ ahead of Kevin Lee’s failed comeback at UFC Vegas 76.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee (19-8 MMA) returned to the Octagon to face Rinat Fakhretdinov (21-1 MMA) this past Saturday, July 1st at UFC Vegas 76. Unfortunately for Lee, he was defeated by guillotine choke at 00 :55 of Round 1.

Fakhretdinov, 31, was sporting 19 consecutive wins coming into the fight with Lee.

Kevin Lee, 30, was released by the UFC in November of 2021. ‘The Motown Phenom’ resigned with the UFC earlier this year. Lee’s comeback was not what he was hoping for.

Javier Mendez, head coach of The American Kickboxing Academy and Khabib Nurmagomedov’s former coach, spoke about Lee’s loss on his podcast:

“For me, some of the warning signs for me where Kevin was talking about, ‘I’m beyond these little shows at the Apex’, his attitude – your focus should have been winning and your opponent.”

Continuing Mendez said the following of Kevin Lee’s mindset:

“Other comments were ‘Khabib, I saw holes in his game’. You should be focused more on your fight and forget anybody else, forget anybody in particular, just focus on yours because everybody was dying to see what you were going to do, especially at welterweight.”

Concluding, Mendez summed up the fight by saying (h/t MMAJunkie):

“In my opinion, he got caught. Was it because he wasn’t focused enough on his opponent, or he overlooked his opponent? I don’t know. I have no idea. I just know that what he was doing, he shouldn’t have been doing. It should have never come up about not fighting at the Apex. He should have been solely focused on his job at and to beat a really, really tough opponent.”

Were you watching Kevin Lee go down to defeat last Saturday? Do you agree with Javier Mendez ‘s analogy?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!


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