Lightweight contender Kevin Lee turned down a welterweight showdown with Darren Till at UFC London and insists that his work at 155lbs is not finished.
Lee’s last outing saw him lose out on the scorecards to the veteran Al Iaquinta and now, he finds himself at 1-2 in his last three fights.
Of course, the talent that Lee possesses is clear – and at just 26-years-old, he remains one of the most promising contenders in the game.
As one of the 155lb division’s largest fighters, many have wondered whether a move to 170lbs is something of an inevitability in his future but according to the man himself, his work in his current weight-class is far from through.
Speaking to MMAJunkie about his future, ‘The Motown Phenom’ revealed that the UFC had offered him an opportunity to jump straight into welterweight title-contention with a UFC London headliner against Darren Till.
“They offered me Darren Till for that main event spot in London and I think they trying to push me out the division. They pretty much approached me right after the fight and they asked me would I go 170. I’m like, ‘Not really [interested]. This is where I started, this is where I’m going to get that belt first and just keep moving on. I just wasn’t interested. I’m going to stay at 155 and someone is going to get hurt.”
“I slept on it for the night then I woke up in the morning and it was the same thing. I try not to make decisions on the fly like that. It just still wasn’t too interesting. There’s still so much work for me to be done at 155.”
As for his next move, Lee seemed to be interested in a showdown with undefeated UFC Brooklyn standout Gregor Gillespie – who mauled Yancy Medeiros on the night’s main-card to catch quite a bit of attention from those tuning in.
“There’s the Gregor Gillespie kid who looked real good. He ain’t going to spend no time calling nobody out. I’m trying to get in touch with his people while he out in the woods. I was impressed with that last fight and that’s definitely a fight I’m looking at now. I would be giving him a shot and coming up.
“I’ve already put my offer out there I’m just waiting to hear back. The kid can fight. He’s undefeated. I really wasn’t too impressed with him, but hat last fight versus Yancy, he did all right. I think I might go ahead and get that done, it’s just on him whether he want to have it or not.”
As two of the finest grapplers in the division – a matchup between the fifth-ranked Lee and the eleventh-ranked Gillespie would certainly give us a good indication of each man’s standing at present.
As Lee said, Gregor isn’t exactly in the habit of calling out potential opponents but with this gentle nudge, hopefully the UFC take action and set this one up because truth be told, it seems like the perfect matchup for both men right now.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena