UFC lightweight contender Kevin Lee missed weight by a pound for his UFC Atlantic City headliner fight against Edson Barboza on Saturday night. Because of this, he was forced to give up 20% of his purse as a sanction.
Another stipulation is the UFC’s unofficial ruling that states fighters who miss weight are also ineligible to receive post-fight bonuses. This is where the “Motown Phenom” has an issue with, but in this case, more for the sake of Barboza.
“I just don’t see that system being okay,” Lee said on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “The 20 percent [fine], that’s in my contract, I understand that. I kinda knew that going in. It’s not being eligible for the bonuses and all this — because it doesn’t take away from the performance, I feel like.”
“Barboza put on a hell of a performance and I feel like you could’ve given the man some scratch for that.”
“He went out there and he could’ve easily turned away during the first round even, gave up his neck and it would’ve been done, but Barboza stuck in there for five full rounds and took a beating on that,” he continued. “And he can’t get a ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus because of — it’s not even a rule, it’s just like kinda in good faith or something, you know?”
Saturday night’s weigh-in misfortune was the first occurrence in Lee’s career. Had he been given more time, he feels the whole thing might have never happened in the first place.
“I think there could’ve been some adjustments that I could’ve made, especially on the timing,” Lee told Ariel Helwani. “I think I just had the timing [off]. The timing was off a little bit too much, and my scale was a little bit different too.”
“When I weighed myself on my scale upstairs, I was almost a pound-and-a-half heavier than what I thought,” he added. “So it just was minor technical difficulties really when it came down to it. My body never reached a point where it was breaking down. It just became that I ran out of time.”
Despite the predicament, Lee ended up winning via fifth-round doctor stoppage, dealing Barboza his second straight loss via mauling in a span of four months.