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UFC Rochester’s Kevin Lee hopes win over Rafael dos Anjos will put him in welterweight title mix

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Kevin Lee is hoping to establish himself as a top-five welterweight talent with a win over Rafael dos Anjos this Saturday.

MMA: UFC 194-Aldo vs McGregor-Weigh Ins Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Lee has been talking about moving up a weight class for some time, and ‘The Motown Phenom’ will finally make his transition to 170-pounds when he takes on Rafael dos Anjos this weekend at UFC Fight Night 152.

Lee, who has struggled to make the cut to 155 pounds in the past, is hoping a dominant win over dos Anjos will put him right in the title mix at welterweight.

“Right now, welterweight is really showing it is at the top of the game,” Lee said in a recent interview with “I think it is has passed lightweight for the most talent. He is ranked number three, it will put me up there. It will put me in the mix, for sure. I always like to shake s**t up, so I’ll throw my name in the hat.”

Beating RDA, the former UFC lightweight champion, will be no easy task, which is why Lee is giving the Brazilian his full respect ahead of Saturday’s headlining clash.

“To be honest, I wouldn’t do this normally, but I have to give RDA my full attention and my full respect,” he said. “He is a former champ. I think no matter what, he is going to show up. I’m going to get the best version of him. He will use those losses as motivation to get in there and make a statement. I’m showing up for the best RDA there is. I’m giving him that respect for sure.”

Asked how he expects the fight to play out, Lee predicted a five-round, back-and-forth war with dos Anjos on May 18.

“I see it being a bloodbath, I really do. I haven’t gotten one of them in the UFC yet,” he concluded. “But, I think every fighter’s dream and nightmare is to get that Israel Adesanya-Kelvin Gastelum type fight where you really dig deep and see what you are made of. I feel like RDA is going to give that to me. I’m expecting a bloodbath for sure.”

UFC Fight Night: dos Anjos vs. Lee takes place this Saturday, May 18 at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York.