UFC lightweight Kevin Lee breaks down the top-10 of the division and is particularly critical of Tony Ferguson.
UFC Fight Night 112 was a big night for Kevin Lee, despite the air of controversy surrounding his first-round finish of Micahel Chiesa.
In his first headlining slot as a UFC fighter, Lee took full advantage of the opportunity presented to him and wasted little time defeating Chiesa, but also let the world know Khabib Nurmagomedov is in his sights.
During the post-fight press scrum, Lee was asked about how he matches up with the lightweights currently ranked above him. Lee stated, “I’ll break down each one of those fights and tell you how I’m gonna win each one of those fights against each one of those guys.”
After arriving home in Las Vegas from Oklahoma City, Lee was a guest on the Slip ‘n Dip Podcast, where he elaborated on that statement and gave a full breakdown of each lightweight that currently sits above him in the rankings:
“Al’s easy. You stick and move on Al, you know? Al’s gonna sit in the pocket, look to throw that big right hand, a loopy right hand, throw straight shots down the middle, and then (I’ll) take him down. His submission defense is really weak. So, you take him down and beat him up. All you gotta do is avoid the big right hand. It’s like fighting one of these old school 2005 characters.”
“Beneil, you gotta drag into deep water, you know? Beneil’s a great athlete, but you know, his body type – he’s got that kinda slow burn – I don’t know – the man is just out of shape! You just gotta drag him into deep water. I’d definitely take that one on a five-rounder and I don’t think he’d stand a chance winning a decision.”
“Ooh, Dustin’s a good one. Dustin’s a good fighter, I’ll give that to him and I’ve always said that from the beginning. I wanted to fight Dustin years ago and I still want to fight Dustin, you know? We could still get it in. You just put pressure on Dustin. Once you set that range with kicks, he’ll start stepping in and you start touching that chin because he does show that he can get hit on that chin pretty solid up the middle.”
“Oh, Nate’s easy money! Come on, the blueprint is out! Nate’s got what, fifteen losses? I don’t even think I need to state the obvious. Only thing you can’t do is try to go out there and be a dummy and throw left upper cuts against a man who’s a tall, rangy southpaw boxer. You can’t pull the Conor McGregor – only thing you can’t do is be stupid, otherwise, it’s an easy fight.
“Mike you hit hard. Mike’s too little. Mike’s gonna get taken down, Mike’s gonna get beat up. I think you just walk through Mike’s shots, he’s too little. He’s got that speed, you know what I mean? But once you grab a hold of him, you slow him down, you wear him out, then the size is gonna come into factor.”
“Edson’s a tough one. I think you push the pace, push him into the later rounds, and keep it gritty. You gotta get nasty against Edson. You can’t let him go out there and show off. I think Beneil Dariush fought a perfect fight against him, Beneil did it perfect – except he got tired, but Beneil gets tired in every fight. You gotta do that and not get tired. It’s pretty simple.”
“Eddie’s easy. Eddie’s washed up now. I don’t know, Eddie hasn’t won a fight convincingly since…since he beat Michael Chandler, I think? Eddie, you just beat from bell to whistle. He’s on the down slide, you know what I mean? Eddie’s gonna try to hold on to you, you just beat Eddie off athleticism.
“You hit Tony a lot. A LOT. Tony gets hit a lot, the defense is terrible. He’s got that real awkward switching stances a lot, you hit him between those stance switches. Real flat-footed, real crazy on the ground. You settle position on the ground just like Danny Castillo or a lot of these guys once he gets on the ground. You settle position, you hit him a lot. He’s kinda got that Homer Simpson defense, you know, where he’s like, ‘ok, you can hit me, but eventually you’ll get tired of hitting me.’ Just keep hitting him.”
“Khabib’s got some of the best ground and pound in MMA. Hands down, I’ll give it that to him. That’s the kind of challenge I want, but with Khabib, he’s slow. I’m not gonna give it all away.”
“I think honestly he’ll be on the decline when he comes back. He’s been on the decline for a minute. I think he’ll be on the decline, even more, when he comes back. His skill set is starting to stagnate. You just put the pressure on him. Keep the pressure on him. He’s too small to hang with us 55’ers. Guys like me and Chiesa, a lot of these guys I fought, you know? Francisco Trinaldo is bigger than me, you know what I mean? Right now I’m sitting here at 185, 189 pounds. I think you put the pressure on him and take him down, and he’s out of his world. He’s gonna sit there and lose guard. Come on.”
For the time being, Lee would like to make sure his knee is fully healed before stepping back into the Octagon, with his sights set on making the walk again in December.
Only time will tell who his next opponent will be, but it seems he has everyone above him scouted already.