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Kevin Lee: Khabib’s Eagle FC ‘has the potential to overtake’ Bellator and other orgs

Recent Eagle FC signee Kevin Lee gives his prediction on the future of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s promotion company.

Khabib Nurmagomedov and UFC president Dana White during the UFC 264 presser last October.
Khabib Nurmagomedov and UFC president Dana White during the UFC 264 presser last October.
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Since his retirement in October 2020, Khabib Nurmagomedov had focused on other ventures outside of getting in there himself. “The Eagle” has since taken on the mentor role for lightweight contender Islam Makhachev, and he now runs his own promotion company.

Eagle FC was launched early this month and had already signed a few familiar names. Among them are ex-UFC champions Renan Barao and Rashad Evans, who decided to come out of retirement at 42 years old.

Another recent signee is former interim title challenger Kevin Lee, who inked a multi-fight deal with Eagle FC after parting ways with the UFC late last month. And seeing how Khabib’s new brainchild operates, the “Motown Phenom” is expecting big things from his new promotion.

“As soon as I walked in the building of the arena that we’re fighting in, it’s huge,” Lee told BJPenn.com’s Cole Shelton in a recent interview. “They’ve put in a lot of effort, they’ve put in a lot of money towards this. It’s already well-established, and this is only day one. I can only imagine what day 100 is gonna look like.

“It’s too early to notice. Only thing I can notice is that it has a big upside and a lot of room for growth and a lot of potential.”

Lee sees so much potential in Eagle FC, that he expects it to be the biggest player in the MMA promotion game in the future.

“Absolutely they can take over Bellator for the number two spot. Depending on the business model. When the business model continues to do something outside of what these other promotions are doing, it definitely has the potential to overtake anybody else.”

Eagle FC is revolutionizing the MMA promotion landscape by introducing new weight classes. It includes the 165-pound division that Lee has been campaigning for during his years in the UFC. But another thing he was thrilled about was getting paid in cryptocurrency.

“This is prizefighting, at the end of the day. And we fight for the prize,” he said. “So to be paid in bitcoin, and them not giving me any pushback on it, whatsoever, that was huge in the decision. It gives me a lot more financial security, and honestly, it will help me fight better, too.”

Lee has yet to finalize his Eagle FC debut, but he did mention Diego Sanchez as a potential opponent. Sanchez also cut ties with the UFC in 2021 and was said to be in talks for a possible deal with Bare Knuckle FC.