UFC 223 lightweight title challenger Khabib Nurmagomedov and recent UFC interim lightweight title challenger Kevin Lee have had plenty to say about each other recently.
The pair’s latest feud began when Lee dumped all over Nurmagomedov’s UFC 219 win over Edson Barboza.
“I wasn’t too impressed with Khabib,” Lee said at a media scrum in the lead-up to UFC 222 (h/t MMAFighting). “I’m gonna do ten times the work on Edson [at UFC Atlantic City]… Khabib looked terrible in that fight. He was just barreling straight forward like a tank.”
From there, Nurmagomedov fired back at Lee, questioning his heart after his recent submission loss to Tony Ferguson.
“He wants to be tough but he has very small heart,” Nurmagomedov told Megan Olivi on the UFC Fight Pass show The Exchange. “Very small heart. When he fought with Tony Ferguson, between second and third round, you guys can watch his face and understand everything. Face never lie. His eyes – when Tony Ferguson talks about, ‘This is my night!’ his face agrees with this.”
Now, Lee has responded to Nurmagomedov’s questions about his heart, going after the undefeated Russian for the botched weight cut that nixed plans for his 2017 showdown with Ferguson.
— Kevin MTP Lee (@MoTownPhenom) March 19, 2018
“I actually showed up and made weight through a [staph] infection,” Kevin Lee said in his response to Nurmagomedov’s comments. “You sign contracts and still find a way to bitch out. FOH.”
At UFC 223, which goes down April 7, Nurmagomedov will battle UFC interim lightweight titleholder Tony Ferguson for the undisputed lightweight title. This title is expected to be stripped from Conor McGregor in the coming days.
Lee will return to action in the main event of UFC Atlantic City on April 21, where he’ll battle fearsome Brazilian striker Edson Barboza – Nurmagomedov’s last victim.
Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov and Kevin Lee’s beef will eventually need to be settled in the cage?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/21/2018.