Former Lightweight, Welterweight Contender Kevin Lee Back with UFC

Kevin Lee, UFC Rochester UFC 249
Kevin Lee Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Former lightweight (and later welterweight) contender Kevin Lee has rejoined the UFC.

News of Lee (19-7) re-signing with the promotion after a brief absence was first reported by ESPN, following the “Motown Phenom” teasing the possibility.

Lee made his exit from the UFC in late 2021, off the back of a two-fight skid and having lost four of his past five fights. It was a stunning fall from grace for a fighter who once faced Tony Ferguson for interim gold, at UFC 216 in 2017.

Ahead of the Ferguson fight, Lee had won five straight against solid competition, but would struggle to find consistency moving forward. To complicate matters, he failed a drug test following his final UFC bout, against Daniel Rodriguez in August 2021, testing positive for Adderall.

It later came to light that Lee had been prescribed the medication to treat ADHD, but had not applied for a therapeutic usage exemption.

The Grand Rapids, Michigan native returned to fighting last year, competing for Eagle FC in a super lightweight match-up with fellow octagon vet Diego Sanchez. Lee won the bout by unanimous decision.

Lee also switched management during his time away. “I feel like I’m going back home,” Lee said in a statement to ESPN, saying he was thankful to UFC President Dana White and Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell for affording him the opportunity.

No opponent or date has been announced for Kevin Lee’s return to the octagon just yet.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here