Kevin Lee has always been one of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s biggest critics, but after watching Khabib’s performance against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242, even Lee had to tip his papakha to the lightweight champion and give credit where it’s due:
“I got to be honest: If you asked me before the Poirier fight, I would have been like Tony (Ferguson) is still like a 90 percent chance of winning,” Lee told MMA Junkie. “After seeing what Khabib did to Poirier, I think it’s going to be very hard for Tony to beat him.
“I’m not going to lie: It was very, very impressive, and the people know I don’t get impressed very easily, especially with a guy like Khabib, but that one is very impressive,” Lee continued. “One of those fights that got me up even, it made me step my game up. Literally, as soon as that fight was over, I got in my car and started driving to Montreal. I know what type of work I got to put in now.”
Kevin Lee has been lobbying for a fight for Khabib Nurmagomedov possibly longer than any fighter has lobbied for a fight in UFC history. He has been studying Nurmagomedov from afar for years, and he has also shared the Octagon with Tony Ferguson before. Kevin Lee believes that a fight between himself and the winner of the expected Khabib/Ferguson fight is not too far off in the distant future:
“I’m taking it one step at a time, one opponent at a time,” Lee said. “Each opponent, especially at lightweight, it’s the most stacked division. It’s the most talent-rich division. So I’m taking each opponent as serious, but my eye is definitely on Khabib.
“Whoever wins that fight, I’m definitely gunning for them. A lot of people want to see me and Tony (Ferguson) have the rematch, and I think me and Khabib is a great fight for the future.”
Kevin Lee is set to face Gregor Gillespie at UFC 244 for his next contest.
Do you think we will ever see Kevin Lee vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov?