Kevin Lee’s UFC run has come to an abrupt end after an extensive 18 fights with the promotion. The former interim lightweight title challenger’s departure from the roster was first reported Tuesday by Guilherme Cruz and Damon Martin of MMA Fighting.
Lee, 29, is parting ways with the UFC after dropping four of his past five bouts and going on a two-fight losing streak. His last appearance was in August, losing a unanimous decision to Daniel Rodriguez.
Lee was a notable gatekeeper in the lightweight division for a series of years. He fought some of the top names at 155-pounds from 2017 to 2020, including Tony Ferguson, Edson Barboza, and current UFC Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira.
Lee headlined six UFC “Fight Night” cards during his time with the promotion.
Marquel Martin, a manager for Lee, expressed disappointment in the UFC’s move to release his client.
“Kevin [Lee] is young, talented and has fought some of the toughest guys on the UFC’s roster,” said Martin in a statement to MMA Junkie. “I think the UFC made the wrong decision in releasing him, but we all believe there are brighter days ahead in Kevin’s career.”