The interim title fight in the main event of UFC 216 was always going to provide lingering story lines for the world’s largest MMA promotion. But other than the creation of a new lightweight champion – and the ongoing speculation of when/if he’ll fight Conor McGregor – the most notable piece of news centered on the man who lost the bout: Kevin Lee and his staph infection.
Most recently, Lee gave an interview on the MMA Hour where he talked about his frustration that the infection became such a topic of debate. Lee even specifically targeted his annoyance with Joe Rogan for bringing it up during the fight broadcast.
He also admitted to doing his best to make sure the commission didn’t notice the clear signs of staph. Including the large abscess on his chest, which Lee says he covered in makeup for the weigh ins. It meant too that he didn’t disclose the infection on his pre-fight medicals, as reported by Combat Sports Law.
Obviously, it’s worth noting that Lee filled out the above form “under penalty of perjury,” and that improperly filled out pre-fight questionnaires are often one of the easiest ways that commissions have of imposing post-fight sanctions against athletes. However, Nevada Athletic Commission Director Bob Bennett went on the record Sunday after the event saying that he stood by the NAC’s decision to clear Lee to fight.
“My lead ringside physician found Lee medically fit to fight. He was examined by our lead ringside physician, along with another ringside physician. Both felt he was medically fit to fight,” Bennett said.
Those pre-fight examinations were made with Lee attempting to hide his illness, but given that the statement from Bennett was made after Lee’s infection was made public, it seems like it may not be a matter they’re interested in pursuing.