Kevin Lee is moving up to welterweight to take on Rafael dos Anjos in the main event of UFC Rochester.
Many believe Lee is moving up to welterweight because of his size. However, according to “The Motown Phenom” that is not the case. Rather, Lee decided to move up in weight given the state of the lightweight division and how the top contenders are not fighting.
“A lot of [the lightweight division] kinda went stagnant, which is a real shame,” Lee said on The MMA Hour. “I mean, it’s always been one of the best divisions in the UFC. There’s just so many ups and so many questions. And part of me was like, this is where I said I wanted to be, and this is where I started and where I’m gonna finish, especially with fighting Khabib. But when I looked at it, like, okay, I’m not going to sit around and wait.
“It’s too many politics going on. Like you said, Max is now fighting Dustin, Tony’s sitting out — which, I’m sad about that whole situation — and all these other things, and nobody wants to fight, and guys only want these certain fights just to push them up, and Conor’s kinda calling the shots still. And I’m like, you know what, f*ck all of this. I’m mostly worried about me anyway. To me, I’m the top dog. So it’s what’s best for my career and going forward.
“Those fights are still going to be out there,” continued Lee. “I still am 100 percent confident I can make 155 again, but we’ll see after. I prefer this fight at 170; 155, they need to get their shit together. That’s all. I think it’ll come together towards the end of this year, but I wasn’t about to sit around and wait for them.”
Ultimately, Lee says the move to welterweight is not permanent and would return to lightweight once division starts to move forward. For now, Lee is focusing on ‘RDA’ and looking to get a win in his welterweight debut.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/25/2019.