Chael Sonnen is leaning towards wanting to see Kevin Lee adjust to the welterweight division.
This past Saturday night (March 14), Lee took on Charles Oliveira in the main event of UFC Brasilia. The action was held inside the Ginasio Nilson Nelson. UFC Brasilia was closed to the public amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Lee had some success in the fight and was even able to thwart Oliveira’s submission attempts when the fight hit the ground. Things went awry for Lee quickly in the third round. “The Motown Phenom” went for a takedown but fell into a guillotine choke. Lee had no choice but to tap.
Sonnen posted a new video on his YouTube channel discussing Lee’s fighting future. Sonnen believes there’s something to Lee taking some time off and adjusting his body to make a permanent move to 170 pounds.
“He is one of these guys that sits right in between,” Sonnen said of Kevin Lee’s weight class situation. “155’s just a little bit too much to pull. 170 is just a little bit bigger than he’s comfortable with. If you’ll remember when the phenomenon was out of the discussion of, ‘Dana please create a 165 [division],’ you’ll remember when that was out. But there was a lot of guys saying, ‘yeah, as a matter of fact, I’ll sign up for that class right now.’ Kevin was one of those guys. And the only reason I bring that story up is just to point out for you, he just sits right in between. So it’s tough but I do think that decision has to be made.”
Sonnen feels timing just isn’t on Lee’s side when it comes to the lightweight division. Many would agree with Sonnen when he says the UFC’s 155-pound division is more stacked than its ever been.
“If he’s gonna step back just for a minute, and I’m saying it’s gonna take just a minute to be the appropriate size for 170,” Sonnen continued when discussing Kevin Lee’s future. “It sounds like we’re saying the same thing. And I do think particularly with the last couple of years that Kevin has had, the loss of his coach, the moving of gyms, which by the way is out of the country. Unfamiliar surroundings, everything’s going great. I mean Kevin is really fighting at a very good level right now but 155 pounds is the most stacked division in the sport. It’s also the most complicated division in the sport.”
Lee tried his hand at the 170-pound weight class back in May 2019. He ended up being submitted by former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos.
Do you think Kevin Lee should consider making a permanent move to welterweight?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/17/2020.