Kevin Lee (fighter)

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Kevin Lee
Kevin Lee.jpg
Kevin Lee in October 2018
BornKevin Jesse Lee Jr.[1]
(1992-09-04) September 4, 1992 (age 27)
Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
Nickname(s)The Motown Phenom
ResidenceLas Vegas, Nevada, United States
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[2]
Weight155–170 lb (70–77 kg; 11.1–12.1 st)
DivisionWelterweight (2019)
Lightweight (2012–2018, 2019–present)
Reach77 in (196 cm)
Fighting out ofMontreal, Quebec, Canada[3]
TeamXtreme Couture (2012–2019)
Tristar Gym (2019–present)
TrainerDewey Cooper (2012–2019)
Firas Zahabi (2019–present)
WrestlingNCAA Division II Wrestling[3][4]
Years active2012–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout3
By submission8
By decision7
By knockout1
By submission3
By decision2
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Kevin Jesse Lee Jr.[1] (born September 4, 1992) is an American professional mixed martial artist, currently competing in the Lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). As of June 30, 2020, he is #10 in the UFC lightweight rankings.[5]


Lee was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on September 4, 1992, and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He competed in basketball growing up and began wrestling during his junior year at Southfield High School. Lee was talented enough to continue his wrestling career at Grand Valley State University, where he was a national tournament qualifier and went 37–0 as a sophomore. However, with two years left of wrestling eligibility at the school, Lee dropped out to focus on a career in mixed martial arts.[6] Kevin's younger brother, Keith, is an aspiring fighter signed to Bellator who has been training with Kevin previously at Xtreme Couture and currently at Tristar.[7][8][9][10]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

The Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]


Lee made his promotional debut against Al Iaquinta on February 1, 2014 at UFC 169. He lost the fight via unanimous decision.[11] After the loss, Lee moved from his native Michigan to Las Vegas, searching for improvements to his game.[12]

At The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale on July 6, 2014, Lee got his first win for the promotion when he defeated Jesse Ronson by split decision.[13]

Lee faced Jon Tuck at UFC 178 on September 27, 2014.[14] Lee won the fight via unanimous decision.


Lee faced Michel Prazeres on February 14, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 60.[15] Lee won the fight by unanimous decision.[16]

Lee next faced James Moontasri on July 15, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 71.[17] Lee won the fight via first round submission.[18]

Lee faced Leonardo Santos on December 12, 2015, at UFC 194.[19] Lee lost the fight via TKO in the first round.[20]


Lee next faced Efrain Escudero on April 23, 2016, at UFC 197.[21] Lee won the fight via unanimous decision.[22]

Lee next faced Jake Matthews on July 8, 2016, at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale.[23] Lee won the fight via TKO in the first round.[24]

Lee faced Magomed Mustafaev at UFC Fight Night 99 on November 19, 2016.[25] He won the fight via submission in the second round.[26] The win earned Lee his first Performance of the Night bonus award.[27]


Lee faced Francisco Trinaldo on March 11, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 106.[28] After a back-and-forth first round, Lee won the fight via submission in the second round.[29]

Lee faced Michael Chiesa on June 25, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 112.[30] He won the fight via submission at the end of the first round.[31] The win also earned Lee his second Performance of the Night bonus award.[32] Chiesa appealed to the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission to overturn the defeat, claiming referee Mario Yamasaki erred both in stopping the fight despite no tapout nor loss of consciousness and in allowing Lee to use illegal downward elbows, which cut his head.[33]

Lee fought Tony Ferguson on October 7, 2017, at UFC 216 for the interim UFC Lightweight Championship.[34][35] Despite starting off strong, he lost the fight by submission in the third round.[36]


Lee fought Edson Barboza on April 21, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 128.[37] At the weigh-ins, Lee weighed in at 157 pounds, one pound over the lightweight non-title fight upper limit of 156 pounds. As a result, the bout proceeded at catchweight and Lee was fined 20% of his purse which went to Barboza.[38] Lee was rocked badly by a spinning heel kick, and was nearly finished by Barboza in the third round, but rallied back and defeated Barboza via doctor stoppage (cut) at 2:18 of the fifth round. [39]

Lee faced Al Iaquinta in a rematch on December 15, 2018, at UFC on Fox 31.[40] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.[41]


Lee moved up to welterweight to face Rafael dos Anjos in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 10 on May 18, 2019.[42] He lost the fight via an arm triangle submission in the fourth round.[43]

In September 2019, Lee announced he would be returning to the lightweight division.[44]

Lee faced Gregor Gillespie on November 2, 2019 at UFC 244.[45] He won the fight via knockout in the 1st Round.[46] This win earned him the Performance of the Night award.[47]


Lee faced Charles Oliveira on March 14, 2020 as the main event at UFC Fight Night 170.[48] At the weigh-ins, Lee weighed in at 158.5 lbs, 2.5 lbs over the lightweight non-title fight limit of 156 pounds. Lee was fined 20% of his purse and his bout with Oliveira was expected to proceed as scheduled at a catchweight.[49] He lost the fight via submission with a guillotine choke in the third round.[50]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
24 matches 18 wins 6 losses
By knockout 3 1
By submission 8 3
By decision 7 2
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 18–6 Charles Oliveira Submission (guillotine choke) UFC Fight Night: Lee vs. Oliveira March 14, 2020 3 0:28 Brasília, Brazil Catchweight (158.5 lbs) bout; Lee missed weight.
Win 18–5 Gregor Gillespie KO (head kick) UFC 244 November 2, 2019 1 2:47 New York City, New York, United States Return to Lightweight. Performance of the Night.
Loss 17–5 Rafael dos Anjos Submission (arm-triangle choke) UFC Fight Night: dos Anjos vs. Lee May 18, 2019 4 3:47 Rochester, New York, United States Welterweight debut.
Loss 17–4 Al Iaquinta Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Lee vs. Iaquinta 2 December 15, 2018 5 5:00 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Win 17–3 Edson Barboza TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Lee April 21, 2018 5 2:18 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Catchweight (157 lbs) bout; Lee missed weight.
Loss 16–3 Tony Ferguson Submission (triangle choke) UFC 216 October 7, 2017 3 4:02 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For the interim UFC Lightweight Championship.
Win 16–2 Michael Chiesa Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Lee June 25, 2017 1 4:37 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 15–2 Francisco Trinaldo Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Gastelum March 11, 2017 2 3:12 Fortaleza, Brazil
Win 14–2 Magomed Mustafaev Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: Mousasi vs. Hall 2 November 19, 2016 2 4:31 Belfast, Northern Ireland Performance of the Night.
Win 13–2 Jake Matthews TKO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Joanna vs. Team Cláudia Finale July 8, 2016 1 4:06 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 12–2 Efrain Escudero Decision (unanimous) UFC 197 April 23, 2016 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 11–2 Leonardo Santos TKO (punches) UFC 194 December 12, 2015 1 3:26 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 11–1 James Moontasri Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: Mir vs. Duffee July 15, 2015 1 2:56 San Diego, California, United States
Win 10–1 Michel Prazeres Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Thatch February 14, 2015 3 5:00 Broomfield, Colorado, United States
Win 9–1 Jon Tuck Decision (unanimous) UFC 178 September 27, 2014 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Tuck was deducted one point for a groin kick.
Win 8–1 Jesse Ronson Decision (split) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn Finale July 6, 2014 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 7–1 Al Iaquinta Decision (unanimous) UFC 169 February 1, 2014 3 5:00 Newark, New Jersey, United States
Win 7–0 Eric Moon Submission (standing guillotine choke) TWC 20: Final Cut November 16, 2013 1 1:24 Lansing, Michigan, United States Won the TWC Lightweight Championship.
Win 6–0 Travis Gervais Submission (armbar) Canadian Fighting Championship 8 September 13, 2013 1 0:46 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Catchweight (160 lbs) bout.
Win 5–0 Joseph Lile Submission (rear-naked choke) Midwest Fight Series 5 July 19, 2013 3 1:29 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States Catchweight (157 lbs) bout; Lee missed weight.
Win 4–0 Kyle Prepolec Submission (guillotine choke) Michiana Fight League April 13, 2013 2 2:17 South Bend, Indiana, United States Catchweight (158 lbs) bout; both fighters missed weight.
Win 3–0 J.P. Reese Decision (unanimous) IFL 51: No Guts, No Glory November 17, 2012 3 5:00 Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States
Win 2–0 Mansour Barnaoui Decision (unanimous) Instinct MMA: Instinct Fighting 4 June 29, 2012 3 5:00 Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Win 1–0 Levis Labrie Decision (unanimous) Instinct MMA: Instinct Fighting 3 March 31, 2012 3 5:00 Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Mir vs. Duffee". Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Kevin Lee - Official UFC Fighter Profile". Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  4. ^ Dan Tom (April 17, 2018). "UFC Fight Night 128 main-event breakdown: The Kevin Lee tool that could foil Edson Barboza".
  5. ^ "Rankings | UFC". Retrieved 2020-06-30.
  6. ^ Staff (2013-04-18). "Fight Path: Chance encounter with GSP helped fuel undefeated Kevin Lee". MMA Junkie.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Keith Lee MMA Stats, Pictures, News, Videos, Biography -". Sherdog. Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  9. ^ Farah Hannoun (November 13, 2019). "Off Guard: Keith Lee eager to fight, says training with Firas Zahabi made a huge impact".
  10. ^ Danny Segura (January 20, 2020). "Keith Lee, Kevin Lee's brother, signs multi-fight Bellator deal, debut set".
  11. ^ Dave Doyle (2014-02-01). "UFC 169 results: Al Iaquinta wins entertaining scrap against Kevin Lee". Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  12. ^ Amber Dixon (June 8, 2018). "UFC's Kevin Lee headlines first fight June 25".
  13. ^ "TUF 19 Finale results, photos: Kevin Lee takes split decision from Jesse Ronson". July 6, 2014.
  14. ^ "Kevin Lee – Jon Tuck To Meet At UFC 178". July 31, 2014.
  15. ^ Jason Floyd (January 1, 2015). "Three fights made official for UFC Fight Night 60". Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  16. ^ Damon Martin (2015-02-14). "Kevin Lee pushes past Michel Prazeres for 3rd straight win". Retrieved 2015-02-14.
  17. ^ Tristen Critchfield (2015-04-25). "Kevin Lee vs. James Moontasri added to UFC Fight Night in San Diego". Retrieved 2015-04-25.
  18. ^ Dann Stupp (2015-07-15). "UFC Fight Night 71 results: Kevin Lee submits James Moontasri with first-round choke". Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  19. ^ Adam Hill (2015-08-21). "Streaking lightweights meet at UFC 194". Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  20. ^ Brent Brookhouse (2015-12-12). "UFC 194 results: Heavy underdog Leonardo Santos stops Kevin Lee with first-round TKO". Retrieved 2015-12-12.
  21. ^ Staff (2016-02-18). "Efrain Escudero vs. Kevin Lee added to UFC 197 lineup". Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  22. ^ Ben Fowlkes (2016-04-23). "UFC 197 results: Kevin Lee outworks 'TUF' winner Efrain Escudero for decision win". Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  23. ^ Shaun Al-Shatti (2016-06-02). "Stevie Ray out, Kevin Lee in against Jake Matthews at TUF 23 Finale". Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  24. ^ Brent Brookhouse (2016-07-08). "TUF 23 Finale Results: Kevin Lee storms past Jake Matthews with brutal ground assault". Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  25. ^ Staff (2016-10-01). "Kevin Lee says he's fighting Magomed Mustafaev at UFC Fight Night 99 in Belfast". Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  26. ^ Dann Stupp (2016-11-19). "UFC Fight Night 99 results: Kevin Lee submits Magomed Mustafaev, calls out division". Retrieved 2016-11-19.
  27. ^ Staff (19 November 2016). "UFC Fight Night 99 bonuses: With no 'Fight of the Night,' which 4 fighters took home $50,000?". Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  28. ^ Tristen Critchfield (2017-01-26). "Lightweights Francisco Trinaldo, Kevin Lee to Meet at UFC Fight Night 106 in Brazil". Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  29. ^ Steven Marrocco (2017-03-11). "UFC Fight Night 106 results: Kevin Lee stuns Brazilian fans, taps out Francisco Trinaldo". Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  30. ^ Marc Raimondi (2017-03-30). "Michael Chiesa returns to face Kevin Lee in UFC Fight Night 112 main event". Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  31. ^ "UFC Fight Night 112 results: Kevin Lee defeats Michael Chiesa after controversial 1st-round stoppage". MMAjunkie. 2017-06-26. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  32. ^ a b "UFC Fight Night 112 bonuses: Controversy in main event, but Kevin Lee still gets $50,000". MMAjunkie. 2017-06-26. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  33. ^ "Michael Chiesa Appeals UFC Fight Night 112 Loss to Kevin Lee, Cites 'Referee Error'". Sherdog. 2017-06-29.
  34. ^ Tristen Critchfield (2017-08-15). "Tony Ferguson, Kevin Lee to clash for Interim Lightweight Title at UFC 216 on Oct. 7". Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  35. ^ "Kevin Lee Says UFC Rankings Don't Mean Sh-t | Fightful MMA". Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  36. ^ "UFC 216 results: Tony Ferguson submits Kevin Lee, claims interim lightweight belt". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  37. ^ Ariel Helwani (2018-02-23). "Edson Barboza vs. Kevin Lee slated for UFC Fight Night Atlantic City main event". Retrieved 2018-02-23.
  38. ^ "Kevin Lee misses weight for UFC Atlantic City main event bout with Edson Barboza". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2018-04-20.
  39. ^ "UFC Fight Night 128 Results, Kevin Lee Dominates Edson Barboza for TKO win".
  40. ^ "UFC announces main fight between Kevin Lee vs Al Iaquinta for Dec. 15 card at Fiserv Forum".
  41. ^ Doyle, Dave (2018-12-15). "UFC on FOX 31 results: Al Iaquinta edges Kevin Lee in grueling main event". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  42. ^ "UFC on ESPN+ 10 gets Rafael dos Anjos vs. Kevin Lee welterweight main event". Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  43. ^ Doherty, Dan (2019-05-18). "UFC Rochester Results: Rafael dos Anjos Submits Kevin Lee in Grueling Contest". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  44. ^ "Morning Report: Kevin Lee returning to lightweight, eyeing fight with 'the next Khabib,' Islam Makhachev". September 13, 2019. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  45. ^ Farah Hannoun (2019-09-30). "Kevin Lee vs. Gregor Gillespie targeted for UFC 244 in New York". Retrieved 2019-10-01.
  46. ^ Richardson, Andrew (2019-11-02). "Lee Knocks Gillespie Out With Huge High Kick!". Retrieved 2019-11-03.
  47. ^ a b Jon Fuentes (2019-11-03). "UFC 244 Bonuses, Attendance & Gate". Retrieved 2019-11-03.
  48. ^ Guilherme Cruz and Damon Martin (2020-01-14). "Kevin Lee vs. Charles Oliveira set to headline UFC Brasilia in March". Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  49. ^ Mike Bohn (2020-03-13). "UFC on ESPN+ 28 weigh-in results: Kevin Lee misses weight". Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  50. ^ "Oliveira submits Lee in 3rd at empty Brazil arena". 2020-03-15. Retrieved 2020-03-15.
  51. ^ "Kevin". Sherdog. Retrieved 2019-11-03.

External links[edit]