UFC Atlantic City’s headliner gives his take on Conor McGregor’s actions on the now-infamous UFC 223 media day earlier this month.
UFC lightweight Kevin Lee didn’t exactly do himself any favours after he missed weight for his headlining matchup against Edson Barboza this weekend, losing out on 20% of his purse to the Brazilian. One pound was the deficit and while the fight will go ahead as scheduled, the fans were far from happy with the Motown Phenom, especially because of the recent chaos of the UFC 223 fight-week.
Of course, weigh-ins, injuries and a variety of things made the leadup to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s lightweight title-clinching victory memorable but it was the former-champ Conor McGregor who stole the attention away with his attack on one of the buses carrying some of UFC 223’s fighters, Khabib being among them.
Lee spoke to MMAWeekly during fight week and gave his own take on why McGregor was so quick to go after Khabib in a setting that wasn’t inside the walls and locked doors of the UFC octagon.
“The Conor situation, he knows if he fights any of us three big guns in the division, he’s going to get his ass whooped. I think that frustration is coming out in his actions.
“Because no reasonable man does some s**t like that, especially if you really wanna smoke. You don’t show up with 20 guys and cause a big scene in front of security and hit [Michael] Chiesa in the face. It’s a weird situation.
“I think it’s frustration cause he ain’t the real champ and he ain’t never been the real champ and we’re finally calling him on his bulls**t.”
Denying McGregor’s status – or former status – as the lightweight champion or his chances against the division’s top contenders is nothing new and for Lee, we’re sure his focus isn’t too far away from the very dangerous opponent who is in front of him this weekend.
For Conor, I suppose there’s not much that can be said in his defense until he actually fights again but with increasing levels of speculation linking him to make his return against Khabib Nurmagomedov before the year is out, hopefully, all questions about his standing within the sport will be answered before 2019 comes around.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena