After UFC release, what’s next for Kevin Lee?

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Today there was stunning news in the UFC. Former interim title challenger and top lightweight contender Kevin Lee (18-7) was released by the promotion. MMA Fighting was the first to report the release earlier this afternoon.

The news seemingly came out of no where. Recently, we learned that Lee was given a suspension for taking ADHD medication. The offense gave Lee a six month suspension that he’s currently serving.

This suspension came on the heels of back to back losses for the Motown Phenom. A few years ago, Kevin Lee looked like he could become a star for the UFC. After Lee defeated Michael Chiesa, his stock really took off.



Lee was 16-2 and after having a verbal back and forth with Tony Ferguson, the UFC gave Lee an interim title shot against El Cucuy. When they fought at UFC 216, Lee started out doing very well.

However, he ultimately gassed and was submitted by Ferguson. Starting with that loss, Lee has gone 2-5 in his last seven fights. After the recent skid and the issues with USADA, the UFC decided to part ways.

After UFC release, what’s next for Lee?

As mentioned, the Lee release caught many off guard and you can imagine that the former UFC title challenger will be a hot name on the free agent market. My guess is that Lee’s reps have already been reached out to by Bellator and PFL.

Lee’s brother currently fights for Bellator so that could be a spot for him. However, I think we might end up seeing Lee join the PFL. There’s no inside information here, it’s simply a hunch.

The PFL has been really trying to add to their lightweight division over the past couple of years. Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis signing with them sent waves throughout MMA.

I can really see PFL going hard after Lee to try and secure him for their 2022 lightweight season. By the time the season rolls around, Lee’s suspension will be up and he will be ready to fight.