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UFC releases Kevin Lee after seven years, 18 appearances

MMAJunkie logo MMAJunkie 11/30/2021 Mike Bohn
a man looking at the camera © Provided by MMAJunkie

Kevin Lee has been let go from the UFC roster.

Lee, who competed 18 times for the promotion since his February 2014 debut and once fought for the interim lightweight championship, was informed of his release from the company.

MMA Junkie confirmed the news of Lee’s release Tuesday with Lee’s management following an initial report from MMA Fighting.

Marquel Martin of CAA, who manages Lee, said his fighter had multiple fights remaining on his promotional agreement when he was informed of the news.

“The UFC’s decision to release Kevin is disappointing and unfortunate,” Martin wrote in a statement to MMA Junkie. “Kevin is young, talented and has fought some of the toughest guys on the UFC’s roster. I think the UFC made the wrong decision in releasing him, but we all believe there are brighter days ahead in Kevin’s career.”

Lee (18-7 MMA, 11-7 UFC), 29, has lost four of his past five fights to top-tier competition in Daniel Rodriguez, Charles Oliveira, Rafael dos Anjos, and Al Iaquinta. His lone win in the past three years came at UFC 244 in November 2019 when he knocked out Gregor Gillespie with a highlight-reel head kick.

During his octagon tenure, Lee recorded notable victories over Michael Chiesa and Edson Barboza. He also fought Tony Ferguson for the interim 155-pound belt at UFC 216 in October 2017 but lost by third-round submission.

Following his most recent defeat to Rodriguez in August, Lee vowed he “won’t stop until I figure this sh*t out.” Now he’ll be forced to try to rebound outside of the UFC.

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