One of the most talked about issues surrounding UFC 216 was how Kevin Lee was able to fight with a staph infection on his chest. It was only noticed during the actual broadcast when Joe Rogan brought it up, apparently despite disapproval from the UFC.
Lee remains proud of how he handled himself in the fight, while also lauding Tony Ferguson for his own performance. Which is why he was irked at first when he found out that Rogan mentioned it on air.
“It kind of takes away from it, and it kind of takes away from Tony too,” Lee told Ariel Helwani during Monday’s MMA Hour episode. “I thought Tony did a great job, even with the staph infection.”
“It kind of takes a little bit away from our performance. But look, it’s the truth, and it is what it is. I always like to do that with people, I always like to tell people the way it is, so I can’t really hold it against him. I was a little annoyed at first that he would bring it up, but it’s clear.”
Lee also went on to defend the Nevada Athletic Commission, who had been getting flak for letting him fight despite his condition.
“They got a little bit of backlash for letting me fight, but they were mostly just concerned about the weight,” Lee said. “I think I did a pretty good job of hiding it. I felt like I did a good job of using makeup and trying to hide the best that I could. It wasn’t really their fault. “
Lee’s interview begins at the 1:38:03 mark of the video.