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20th Apr 2018

Kevin Lee knew he was missing weight before he even stepped on the scales

Patrick McCarry

“Imma go put on a show.”

The UFC’s lightweight division once again made the headlines after Kevin Lee missed weight for his UFC Atlantic City fight against Edson Barboza.

With Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson both dealing with their own issues, Lee and Barboza know a dominant or highlight reel victory could push them right into the title picture. Khabib Nurmagomedov is now the 155lbs champion and has insisted he will be a fighting champ.

Ahead of his latest bout, the 25-year-old was certainly talking the talk. In an interview with TSN, Lee let fly at Nurmagomedov, McGregor, Nate Diaz, Dustin Poirier, Eddie Alvarez and more. On McGregor, he declared:

“He’s avoiding that Khabib fight like the plague. He’s avoiding all of the fights against us top dogs…

“That whole [Brooklyn bus attack] thing was all laughable, it’s a joke. I don’t really understand it. The guy wants to be a gangster and all this. He might have grown up poor, but he didn’t really grow up in the streets.

“If he really wanted to fight Khabib, all he had to do was sign the line. He’s another one of these dudes… these guys don’t want really challenges, they don’t want real fights.”

Lee had a chance to earn the interim lightweight title, late last year, but was well beaten by Ferguson. He picked up a staph infection while trying to make weight for that fight and it left him with severely depleted resources.

It was suggested to Lee, by UFC president Dana White, that he consider a move up to welterweight but he is sticking it out at lightweight. He may have to reconsider that stance after missing weight for his weekend bout with Barboza.

Lee was the last of all the fighters to appear for his official weigh-in and word got out, with less than 15 minutes to go before the cut-off point, that he was struggling. Paul Felder, a lightweight fighter on media duty at UFC AC this week, lightened the mood by stepping up on the scales and announcing he was sitting pretty up at 190.2lbs.

Lee then entered the room but it was clear from his demeanour that he was going to struggle to hit 155lbs.

Sure enough, and despite stripping off all his clothes, Lee tipped the scales at 157lbs, two pounds overweight. His face upon hearing ‘157’ suggested he was well aware that he would not be making the correct weight.

Soon after he stepped on the scales, ‘The Motown Phenom’ took to social media.

‘For the first time ever in my athletic career since high school,’ he wrote, ‘I’ve missed weight this morning. I just ran outta time. I apologise to the UFC, Dana White and Edson Barboza. Tomorrow, I’mma go put on a show.’

The bout will still go ahead but Lee has been fined 20% of his fight purse for the transgression. Missing weight may also affect his title contender chances if he can get past Barboza.

Right now, the UFC and the lightweight division could do with everything going smoothly for a while.