Why Kevin Lee's leaning towards Conor McGregor knocking out Khabib Nurmagomedov
You better believe 'the Motown Phenom' is dreaming of a Kevin Lee-Conor McGregor UFC headliner someday.
It's crazy to think that Kevin Lee fought on the preliminary card of UFC Belfast in 2016. Although it was a poor spot on a lacklustre card, Lee utilised the opportunity fairly well to make a name for himself. At least among Irish fans.
After retiring Magomed Mustafaev with a second-round rear-naked choke, Lee did his best to offend the whole of Ireland. Conor McGregor was in the crowd supporting teammate Artem Lobov. Although Lee felt he matched up very well against 'the Notorious,' he claimed he didn't even notice his presence.
"I actually didn't know that. Was he here? Oh damn, I would have jumped the cage. He was here, he had to be front row, huh? All Irish guys look alike. I wish I would have known. Somebody could have told me. They all just red beards and bald heads to me."
"I heard somebody saying that if you go to Dublin you can't walk around at night. I don't give a fuck about Dublin. I'm from Detroit. We walk around at night all blacked out. If I was in Detroit or Chicago or something like that, maybe the favelas in Brazil I might be worried, but I don't give a fuck about these drunk Irish dudes. You push they forehead, they already fall down, they drunk as it is, so I don't care."
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) August 7, 2018
Sleep now in the fire
What makes Lee an interesting character is that he has an even bigger beef with Nurmagomedov. He's been calling him out for years. So, his prediction for UFC 229's main event was always going to be interesting.
Initially, he thought that McGregor was going to sleep Numragomedov as he explained on Brendan Schaub's podcast The Big Brown Breakdown.
"I think Conor would sleep him... It seems when Khabib gets hit, he doesn't really expect it. He's just trying to push forward. Those are the punches that sting you a lot more. You see Khabib will stop in his tracks because he's coming straight forward. Against somebody with a left hand like that, I don't know."
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) August 13, 2018
During a more recent appearance on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show, Lee seemed a little less confident in this prediction. Although, he admitted that's still the way he's leaning.
"I think everyone's kind of saying the same thing. It's either Khabib's going to get slept or he will run him over. I'm more on the Khabib goin' get slept side. He doing the same things that he been doing for years and he making the same mistakes."
"You make the same mistakes and if you ain't involved and still in the game then somebody gonna take advantage of it. Especially a smart fighter. Is Conor that smart fighter that can do it? I don't know. I tend to think so, but I don't know. It's an interesting fight. I'm leaning more towards Conor's going to sleep him, but it could go the other way too."
Lee clearly sees holes in Nurmagomedov's game. If McGregor can exploit them, he'll be winning his belt back.