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Kevin Lee on first fight with Al Iaquinta: ‘I’m a completely different fighter’ today

“I don’t even really look at that fight anymore as a building block. I’m a completely different fighter.”

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Barboza vs Lee Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Lee made his UFC debut over four years ago at UFC 169, dropping a unanimous decision to Al Iaquinta on the FS1 preliminary card.

Lee has improved leaps and bounds since then, and ‘The Motown Phenom’ is ready to avenge his loss to Iaquinta at UFC on FOX 31, where both lightweights will collide at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum in the main event.

Speaking to MMA Junkie ahead of his highly anticipated rematch, Lee told the media what they already knew: that he is not the same Kevin Lee who lost to ‘Raging Al’ back in 2014.

“I don’t even really look at that fight anymore as a building block,” Lee said after the open workouts. “I’m a completely different fighter. I’ve had 12 fights since then and taken on much bigger challenges and I feel like I’m getting better and better each fight, and Al is just another stepping stone into that.”

Other than a lone loss to Tony Ferguson at UFC 216, Lee has steamrolled most of the competition, finishing five out of his last six opponents. The 26-year-old last fought at UFC Fight Night 128, where he thrashed UFC veteran Edson Barboza in the main event.

Speaking of Iaquinta, who is 5-1 in his last six fights, Lee said he looks forward to ‘booting his ass’ back down the rankings.

“Me and him just don’t really mesh together,” Lee said. “We’re just two different types of people. I just don’t like his style. I just don’t dig him too much. I just feel like his voice is already big enough – the world needs no more Al Iaquintas. So I’m doing a good job of booting his ass up out of here.”

UFC on FOX: Lee vs. Iaquinta 2 takes place tomorrow night, Dec. 15 at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.