The lightweight contender believes that Conor McGregor has a very good chance of catching Khabib Nurmagomedov in their UFC 229 headlining showdown.
Lee is a man who will certainly have his eye on the winner of that fight, no matter which way it goes. As a true stylistic clash for the ages, the general consensus seems to be that the fight will not be overly competitive – given how wildly different each man’s path to victory is.
We’ve seen what Khabib has been able to do in the past and to date, he has encountered very little in the way of resistance to his pressure.
Conor’s left-hand shot has been seen as the perfect antidote to the smothering style of the Dagestan-native. The questions that loom over his ability to land it, though, have made this one of the most compelling matchups the promotion has ever made – especially with the knowledge of the inescapable danger McGregor will be in if he can’t connect.
Kevin Lee spoke to Submission Radio in a recent interview and explained why he thinks the Irishman will get the job done.
“I think Conor probably sleeps him. You know, the more I think about it and the more I get closer to it, Conor’s probably gonna sleep him. Khabib uses the same entrances. He’s a monster on top, I’ll give him that. Not much of a finisher up there.
“He got to a spot like with Michael Johnson where he’s practically begging Mike, ‘just give up’, like, ‘I don’t know how to finish you, just give up for me’.”
“He’s gotta do that round after round, after round, after round. And someone like Conor, you walk onto that left hand like how Khabib like to do, you know that’s a sleeper right there.
“So, more and more I’m pushing towards Conor, even though I’m not really liking the match-up for him. So, it’s a good fight.”
As for his own return to action, no fight has been lined up yet for ‘The Motown Phenom’ but even still, he is keeping himself ready just in case one of the fighters competing in the pair of pivotal lightweight clashes on the UFC 229 main-card suffers an injury.
“I’m still gonna be staying ready, because now you’ve got four of the top lightweights, and three of those guys are pretty prone to pulling out. So I’m gonna stay sharp, I’m always gonna be training anyway.
“I’m just gonna keep my weight low and stay ready for any moment, because this is MMA, you never know what’s gonna happen. I match up really well with all those guys and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Lee would certainly be rank highly on the list of fighters who could potentially save the night’s main-event if needed. After annihilating Edson Barboza in his last outing, he made a very clear statement about his prospects within the division.
Sure, his third-round submission loss to Tony Ferguson at UFC 216 was a setback. It must be remembered, though, that Lee went into that matchup with a staph infection and all things considered, was doing a fantastic job on ‘El Cucuy’ before his stamina eventually cost him.
His potential is pretty clear at this stage and no matter who it is that faces next – be it Khabib, McGregor, Pettis, or even Ferguson, he’ll certainly ask questions of them.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena