UFC lightweight Kevin Lee: I think dos Anjos ‘is on the decline for sure’

UFC lightweight prospect Kevin "The Motown Phenom" Lee is headed to Belfast, Northern Ireland to face Magomed Mustafaev at UFC Fight Night: 99 on…

By: Eddie Mercado | 7 years ago
UFC lightweight Kevin Lee: I think dos Anjos ‘is on the decline for sure’
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

UFC lightweight prospect Kevin “The Motown Phenom” Lee is headed to Belfast, Northern Ireland to face Magomed Mustafaev at UFC Fight Night: 99 on November 19, 2016. Before heading across the Atlantic Ocean, Kevin Lee spoke with Bloody Elbow’s Eddie Mercado to discuss his growth as a fighter, his Russian opponent’s moxie, and his predictions for Rafael dos Anjos vs. Tony Ferguson and Eddie Alvarez vs. Conor McGregor.

Interview: UFC Lightweight Prospect Kevin “The Motown Phenom” Lee UFC Fight Night: Belfast **AUDIO ONLY**

UFC Debut vs. Al Iaquinta:

Yea, that’s one I’ve been meaning to get back. It’s one that shouldn’t be there. I think if we fight now, it will be a totally different story. I’ll wipe the mat with him. He’s got his own little troubles he’s going through now, but when he gets back he’s definitely going to have to see me. I can’t let it go.”

Eye Issues:

Where it came from was the fight before that, with Michel Prazeres. I got poked, really early, in the eye and it scratched off a large part of my cornea, I think like 90% of my cornea. So, I’ve been having eye trouble since. I’ve since had surgery and it really fixed it, but going into that fight with James [Moontasri], it was a bit of a scare with a poke in the eye. You know, you make due with what it is.

Leonardo Santos Stoppage:

I actually tracked down Big John [McCarthy] after that fight… I cornered him and was like, ‘what the fuck? Why’d you stop the fight?’ I was pretty pissed off about it. I still don’t think he should have stopped that but he kind of explained it to me, and you know, it’s just experience. It’s just, you know, knowing where I am and making sure the ref knows that I’m still in there and I’m still in the fight. It just comes with experience. You see a lot of these older guys; they get clipped, they go down, and they’re a little bit smarter about it. I wasn’t hurt, so I just decided I’ll just stand up. Standing up is where I was wobbling and he stopped it. Big John explained it to me. I understood it. It is what it is, you know. It was my own fault. It was overconfidence on my part.”

Motown Mercy for Jake Matthews:

For a split second there, I was going to throw something serious at him and look to capitalize, but I realized he’s young, he’s dumb, and he’s growing too. He’s inexperienced, so maybe he didn’t know once you get your mouthpiece knocked out then shame on you. I let him off on that one because nobody would ever let me hear that down, if I would have knocked him out right there. And, it would have always been that asterisk, you know. That’s not what I’m really looking for. I want to prove that I’m the better fighter without a doubt, so you know, I didn’t want something stupid like an asterisk, or anything.”

From Mercy to Massacre:

When I decide to do that to anybody in this division, I can at any moment. It’s just if I want to or not. I think I’m the best wrestler, hands down, in this division. I don’t even see anybody who’s close. If I decide, there’s not a man at 155, or at 170 for that matter, that can stop me.

Competing at UFC Fight Night: Belfast:

It’s cool I guess. I prefer to stay here in Vegas, right around the corner. It’ll be cool. It’s a work thing, so I can’t really enjoy Ireland or I can’t do anything. I can’t eat or have a good time… This is like neutral ground for me and this kid is coming from Russia. It’s neutral ground; it’ll be my ground when it’s over.”

Time Difference:

I’ll be going out 2 weeks early. I’ll be leaving from Vegas here, maybe in 10 days or so; something like that just to get ready for that time difference and the change in altitude.

Tour of Northern Ireland:

Not really, nah. I think I’m going to be in the hotel the whole time. I have a nutritionist coming with me this time too. LouTrition, who has worked with guys like Jon Jones, Johny Hendricks, and Anthony Pettis. He’s coming out with me too. I’ve got Dewey Cooper. I’ve got Robert Follis and my manager coming out too. So, we’ve got a whole team, a whole army, but we’re going to be in the hotel the whole time

maybe after the fight. Maybe after the fight I’ll stick around and have a good time. Drink some Guinness or whatever they have over there. You know, lots of whiskey. We’ll save that for the afterparty.

Magomed Mustafaev:

Strong striker… aggressive, should make for a damn good fight. He’s one of the guys who’ll go out on his shield, you know. He won’t lay down and just look to stall, look to hold on, look to just loose a decision. He’ll go out on his shield, he’ll get knocked out. So, it’s definitely a benefit for me. When you look at our skills, skill for skill, I shine everywhere. I outshine him in each one of the areas, so this is one of the ones that’ll really test my maturity and will really test my growth as a fighter. The last time I had a matchup like this was Leonardo, so this will be one of the ones where you really see me shine as an athlete and mature as a man.


Like I said, I think he goes out on his shield. I think he gets TKO’d. I’ll give him the second round. He’s got some heart. He’s coming from Russia. He don’t want to go back to that unemployment line, so he’s going to fight his heart out. It’s cold, it’s icy, conditions are bad and he don’t want to go back. He’s going to fight for his life but he’ll get finished in the second round. He’d be too exhausted; he’ll go out on his shield. He’ll throw a big punch, I’ll slip it, I’ll counter, and he’ll go down.”


You know, I don’t know. I’m trying to figure that out too. The UFC has a way of kind of keeping you on ice for a while. I don’t know, maybe we’ll hop back in there next spring but I’m looking for the right opponents. Right now, 155 is log jammed; especially at the top. Everybody’s kind of been booked up. I’ve been calling out everyone and their mom. They keep turning me down. What can I do?

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Tony Ferguson at UFC Fight Night 99:

I think Tony. I think Tony’s pressure will be a little too much. I think his cardio will be too good. I think RDA is on the decline for sure. He cuts a whole lot of weight to make this weight. I don’t think he can handle the pressure of Tony, and Tony is a beast. I’m definitely going Tony.

The UFC Lightweight #1 contender:

I’ve been sticking up for Tony. Me and Tony are both from Michigan. We went to the same college. I’ve been sticking up for him. Tony is the #1 contender in this division. Why people say Khabib [Nurmagomedov], I don’t know. Right now, it’s Michigan vs. Russia. I just don’t see why people say Khabib is the #1 contender… I see Tony winning that and going on to fight [Eddie] Alvarez.

Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205:

Alvarez stomps him. I don’t see Conor being able to hold past 3 rounds. Conor has a round in him; after that, it’s all downhill from there. I think he’s doing the wrong thing by training in Ireland. I think he’s probably bring out a bunch of yes-men, a bunch of guys who aren’t going to push him in training, and then, Alvarez is going to show him what’s the real deal.

Watch Kevin “the Motown Phenom” Lee take on Magomed Mustafaev at UFC Fight Night: Belfast on November 19, 2016. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for all of your UFC event coverage including Betting Odds, Play-by-Play, Highlights, and more!

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About the author
Eddie Mercado
Eddie Mercado

Eddie Mercado is a writer and content creator for Bloody Elbow, and has covered combat sports since 2015. Eddie covers everything from betting odds and live events, to fighter interviews and co-hosting the 6th Round post-fight show and the 6th Round Retro. He retired at 1-0 in professional MMA, competed in one Muay Thai match in Thailand, and is currently a purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu under the great Diego Bispo.

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