It looks like Kevin Lee may not fight Islam Makhachev after all. A day after saying he would fight the Russian prospect, Lee has some new names on his mind.
Fresh off his vicious head kick win over Gregor Gillespie at UFC 244, Lee told reporters following the event that he wanted Makhachev next. But in a new interview with TMZ on Monday, Lee proposed some other fights instead. Now Lee is saying he’s looking for big-name fights and listed Conor McGregor as well as the winner of Khabib Nurmagomdov vs. Tony Ferguson as his preferred opponents.
“Bigger fights now. That’s all I’m looking for. This next one, I think it’s going to be huge. The best thing is, this is lightweight, so there’s a lot of good fighters out there for me to go up against,” Lee said.
“If I had my pick, it’d be somebody like Conor. I’m being real with you, it would. But I just know he wouldn’t want to fight me. They seen that performance, he’s coming off that loss, he’s not going to do what I did. He’s not going to take on an undefeated guy who’s still trying to make a name for himself, who’s still coming up. I don’t think he’s gonna do what I did, he’s not gonna take that fight.”
In addition to McGregor, Lee would like to face the winner of Khabib vs. Ferguson, but realizes he probably needs a few more wins before getting a title shot.
“To be honest, that’s the fight I’m gunning for, it’s the winner of Tony and Khabib. I want the winner. I know I need to do one or two more to get to that point… but I’ve been wanting to fight Khabib for (a long time), and a lot of people want to see me fight Ferguson again. Whoever wins that fight is going to be the best in the world and I want that man,” Lee said.
In the meantime, Lee listed Anthony Pettis and Justin Gaethje as other potential opponents. He didn’t name Makhachev during this particular interview.
“There’s a lot of good guys out there. Anthony Pettis is still out there, a former world champion. That’s somebody I want to test myself against. Gaethje’s out there too, he’s a top contender, he knocked out Cerrone in his last fight. I like that one too,” Lee said.
Who would you like to see Kevin Lee fight next?