Former title challenger Kevin Lee handed release from the UFC

Former interim UFC lightweight title challenger, Kevin ‘The Mo’Town Phenom’ Lee has been released from the organization this Tuesday night, bringing an end to his seven-year run with the promotion.

Michigan native, Lee, was recently slapped with a six month retroactive suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission as well as handed a hefty $15,000 fine after he submitted an in-competition test sample which tested positive for Adderall, which he had been prescribed to treat his ADHD. Lee admitted his regret regarding the issue, claiming that he believed the drug would be gone from his system by the time he competed, citing that belief as his reasoning for not applying for a TUE (therapeutic use exemption).

The welterweight contender’s most recent outing came back in August of this year where he dropped a unanimous decision loss to Daniel Rodriguez at UFC Vegas 35 in his Octagon return. MMA Fighting reporters, Guilherme Cruz and Damon Martin were first to report the news of Lee’s release from the organization.

The defeat came as Lee’s second consecutively and fourth from his last five Octagon appearances, following a UFC Fight Night Brasilia loss to current lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira in March of last year where he tipped the scales at 158.5lbs.

Following the third round guillotine loss to the grappling expert, Lee confirmed that he had suffered and ACL tear during the bout, and would be sidelined for a prolonged period. However, following a surgical procedure to address his injury, whilst recovering, Lee would suffer a separate ACL tear in his other knee. 

An 18-fight UFC veteran, Lee, who boasts an 18-7 professional record and an 11-7 promotional résumé, last scored a professional victory at UFC 244 in November 2019 where he became the first to defeat lightweight contender, Gregor Gillespie — earning a Performance of the Night bonus via a brutal first round high-kick knockout. 

Once challenging for an interim UFC lightweight title back in October 2017, Lee dropped an eventual third round triangle defeat to Tony Ferguson — which snapped an impressive five-fight winning streak.

The 29-year-old holds professional victories over the likes of Edson Barboza, Michael Chiesa, Francisco Trinaldo, Magomed Mustafaev, Jake Matthews, Efrain Escudero, and Michel Prazeres to name a few. 

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