There has been a lot of clamor for the opening of a 165-pound division in the UFC. For many fighters who struggle between lightweight and welterweight, this new weight class could be the happy medium that would make them perform at their best.
One of those fighters is Kevin Lee, who has been candid about his weight cut struggles to make the 155-pound limit. Currently slated to face Rafael dos Anjos for his welterweight debut at UFC Rochester, “The Motown Phenom” says he is willing to speak with the former lightweight champion and make a side deal for both of them to weigh in at 165 pounds, just to send a message to the company.
“RDA’s kind of – he don’t really get you too much to go go off of and he don’t really give you too much back-and-forth, so I’ll ask him and see what he thinks about it,” Lee told media members backstage at UFC 236 on Saturday in Atlanta. “If he’s down with it, I’ll be down.
“I’ll cut the extra five pounds for that, make a statement, make some noise. It’s in our contract, we ain’t got to, but I like to push some buttons.”
UFC president Dana White has been the biggest opposing forces for this new weight class to open up, stating it would only create more logjams in both the lightweight and welterweight divisions. Lee, however, sees it happening sooner or later.
“I think it’s inevitable. I think we all kind of see that,” Lee said. “I think it creates more work for (the UFC) and they don’t really see that much more benefit out of it. But at the end of the day, when you talk about fighters’ safety and you talk about not having to dehydrate your brain and getting to fight a similar opponent. That’s what we’re looking for, is an even playing field.
“For fighters’ safety, it has to be done,” he added. “It’s just making more work for them, but I can’t tell somebody else how to do their job.”
UFC Rochester will take place on May 18th at the Blue Cross Arena.