Kevin Lee has said the last-minute effort to make weight ahead of his fight with Tony Ferguson at UFC 216 on Saturday contributed to his defeat.
Lee started the bout well, before Ferguson eventually got on top, submitting him via triangle choke in the third round at the T-Mobile Arena.
Fighting in the 155-pound lightweight category, Lee originally weighed in at 156, but came back an hour later to tip the scales at 154.5 pounds.
“It was what it was,” Lee said. “I was going to make the weight, even if I had to cut my foot off or something. I said it before, it damn near killed me and I had to do what I had to do. I had a job to do, I’m a professional and I’m going to come out here no matter how bad it hurts. I’m going to come out here and I feel like I put my best performance on tonight, but by the third round it was too much for me.”
I'm willing to die bout this shit. I got a title to win tomorrow. Nobody gonna stop me. #25toLife
— Kevin MTP Lee (@MoTownPhenom) October 6, 2017
Still, the “Motown Phenom,” who was also fighting a staph infection, said his battle to make the weight was tough and perhaps he should fight at a different weight in future.
“I feel like that was a huge factor,” said Lee. “The staph infection didn’t really help. I’ve been fighting it for about a week now and it didn’t make the weight cut no easier so like I said I’m sitting here now about 185 pounds. I’m a little too big for the weight class now I’ve been fighting in the weight class since I started MMA at 17 so its about time for me to go up. I’m getting stronger and bigger.”
Despite the defeat, Lee said he had no regrets.
“I’m devastated. I mean, you know, I feel like I worked my ass off for this fight. I stepped up when no one else would, I took a big risk tonight, but I’m going to come back and I’m going to come back stronger,” he said.
“Tony Ferguson was the better fighter tonight,” Lee added. “I said it before, it’s the toughest fight in this division. I tried to step up and you know what can I do?”