Kevin Lee Says Kamaru Usman Is One Reason He Is Returning to Welterweight

Published 08/18/2021, 12:23 PM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 14: Kamaru Usman of Nigeria enters the octagon during the UFC 245 event at T-Mobile Arena on December 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Kevin Lee is all set to face Daniel Rodriguez at the UFC on ESPN 30 event. ‘The Motown Phenom’ will return to action for the first time since March 2020. In his last fight, the fighter faced Charles Oliveira in a lightweight bout at UFC Fight Night 170 and lost via a 3rd round submission.

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However, for his fight against Rodriguez, Lee is set to return to the welterweight division. Recently, during an interview with submission radio, Lee was asked about his reason for returning to welterweight. While ‘The Motown Phenom’ said that there were a couple of reasons for his return to welterweight, the biggest was Kamaru Usman.

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He said, “A couple of reasons, one was after I seen Kamaru Usman in his last fight. I realized that he’s definitely the No.1 pound for pound fighter in the world. Especially now that Khabib is retired and I’ve always gone after the biggest challenges.”

“I think martial arts is about pushing yourself. That gave me a lot of like, okay, I see there’s some competition up there. Before welterweight was in this weird standstill was Tyron Woodley was the champion, everybody kind of played politics to get up there. But now that you’ve got a serious competitor, that gives me a bit of motivation.”

Usman is the current UFC welterweight champion and has dominated the welterweight division in the recent past. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is undefeated since 2013, and is considered one of the greatest ever to be a part of the UFC. Therefore, Lee is looking to move to welterweight and challenge the best.

Who will win a fight between Kamaru Usman and Kevin Lee?

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Kevin Lee has been competing professionally since 2012, and at just 28 years of age has time and experience on his side. The fighter has had some great fights in the UFC, defeating the likes of Michael Chiesa and Edson Barboza. Therefore, it is clear that ‘The Motown Phenom’ is undoubtedly a very talented fighter and has a bright future in MMA.

However, Kamaru Usman is at a very different level right now. The Welterweight champion has defeated every fighter he has recently faced and has proven why many consider him the UFC GOAT. Therefore, if ever Lee faces Usman, he will surely have a tough time against ‘The Nigerian Nightmare.’

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How do you think Kevin Lee will do against Kamaru Usman? Let us know in the comments.

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Paras Pande

560 articles

Paras Pande is a UFC author at EssentiallySports who is pursuing his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication. An ardent follower of the UFC, he has been covering the sport for 2 years now. Before joining the team at EssentiallySports, Paras gained expertise as an MMA writer whilst working with Sportskeeda.

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