Kevin Lee Booked Opposite Rinat Fakhretdinov in UFC Return

Kevin Lee UFC
Kevin Lee Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Kevin Lee has his first opponent since re-signing with the UFC earlier this year.

Lee (19-7), who previously fought for an interim title in the UFC lightweight division, will face Rinat Fakhretdinov (21-2) in a welterweight bout at the promotion’s July 1, 2023 Fight Night event.

The Underground’s John Morgan was first to report news of the match-up, which Fakhretdinov subsequently confirmed.

Lee was released by the UFC in late 2021 off back-to-back losses against Charles Oliveira and Daniel “D-Rod” Rodriguez, the latter in a welterweight match-up. Last year, he competed for Eagle FC, defeating Diego Sanchez in a Super Lightweight fight.

With the future of Eagle FC up in the air, however, it was reported this past February that Lee had inked a new contract with the UFC. In his first stint with the promotion, the “Motown Phenom,” now 30, picked up notable wins over Francisco Trinaldo, Michael Prazeres, Michael Chiesa, and Edson Barboza, among others.

Fakhretdinov has won 16 straight fights, including his UFC debut against TUF champ Bryan Battle last year. He’ll be making his second trip to the octagon against Lee come July 1.

The UFC Fight Night card on July 1, 2023 is expected to take place at the Apex in Las Vegas, with middleweights Sean Strickland and Abus Magomedov headlining. The following match-ups have been reported for the event:

  • Sean Strickland vs. Abusupiyan Magomedov
  • Jordan Leavitt vs. Elves Brenner
  • Luana Carolina vs. Ivana Petrovic
  • Max Griffin vs. Michael Morales
  • Ariane Lipski vs. Melissa Gatto
  • Grant Dawson vs. Damir Ismagulov
  • Joanderson Brito vs. Khusein Askhabov
  • Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Brunno Ferreira
  • Vinc Pichel vs. Benoît Saint-Denis
  • Kevin Lee vs. Rinat Fakhretdinov