While some promotions may have already thrown their hats into the Kevin Lee sweepstakes, Bellator is not among them.
Following the conclusion of the Bellator 272 post-fight news conference Friday, MMA Junkie asked promotion president Scott Coker if he’d be interested in signing the former UFC interim lightweight title challenger, who became a free agent after a recent release. The Bellator boss politely indicated the promotion is not interested as things currently stand.
“We only have so many slots and right now, and we’re really happy with our roster,” Coker said.
Bellator currently promotes Lee’s younger brother, Keith Lee, who is part of their bantamweight roster.
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.” However, shortly after the bout, Lee was suspended six months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for a positive drug test he has linked to ADHD medication. Shortly after a settlement was reached, Lee received a letter of termination from the UFC.
“That was kind of the worst part about it,” Lee recently said on “The MMA Hour.” “Didn’t really have the proper notice or even get a phone call about it. … Honestly, that’s what pisses me off the most – the lack of respect.”
Photos: Kevin Lee through the years
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