In attendance at last Saturday’s UFC 222 event was a myriad of different stars, ranging from actors to fighters. One of which included the recent interim lightweight title challenger, “the Mo-Town Phenom” Kevin Lee.
The charismatic young lightweight contender has just recently had his next fight announced and it will be against a fellow perennial top contender in Edson Barboza.
Lee met with the MMAJunkie backstage during UFC 222 and detailed how he had multiple options for his next fight and why he decided to go with Barboza over the others.
“So I like a challenge, and Barboza was the biggest challenge out there right now. It was either Barboza or [Eddie] Alvarez. Eddie, that’s easy money. I like a challenge.
I want the biggest challenge, and Barboza hands down is the best striker in lightweight history. So when I go and take him out, then I’m going to take that title, too.”
Former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez just recently added another title to his resume… Violence champion.
In his fight of the year winning performance over Justin Gaethje at UFC 218 back in December, Alvarez arguably looked better than ever when he became the first person to defeat the human highlight reel and former WSOF champion, Gaethje.
But he wasn’t Lee’s only option. There was one he really had his eye on and wanted more than the others but he says that they didn’t want it back.
“The Nate Diaz fight was there. I thought it would have been a good fight. I would have wanted to take that one. Nate’s a tough fighter, and a lot of people are real high on him. But the man doesn’t want to fight. I’m not a bully. If somebody doesn’t want to fight, I’m not going to bother you too much. I’m not going to talk much shit about people that aren’t going to get me where I’m going.”
All of these options had there positives for Lee as all are held in high regard at 155-pounds. But in the end, Lee winds up with the lethal striker, Barboza in the UFC Fight Night 128 headliner which takes place on April 28 from Atlantic City, New Jersey.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/6/2018