In an unexpected move the UFC have opted to release Kevin Lee from his contract, effective immediately.
A former interim lightweight title contender, the 29-year-old Lee had been having a tough time in the UFC over the past few years, having lost four of his last five fights against the likes of Al Iaquinta, Rafael dos Anjos, Charles Oliveira and most recently Daniel Rodriguez.
During that period he also had issues making weight at lightweight and so was moving up to welterweight at times, and to make matters worse after his last loss he tested positive for the banned substance Adderall, which had resulted in a six month ban.
At the time, just a month ago, Lee had opened up publicly about having been diagnosed with adult ADHD as well as battling severe anxiety. Despite his losses it seemed that the UFC were planning to stick by him, but even though he still has several fights left on his contract it seems the UFC have since opted to part ways with him.
“If there was ever a time to be a free agent it’s now,” Lee’s manager Marquel Martin said. “Kevin Lee has a lot of great opportunities waiting for him outside the UFC.”
That certainly would appear to be the case as other major MMA promotions like Bellator and ONE FC would very likely be interested in a talented fighter like Lee who is still in the prime years of his career, while these days there are other avenues to be explored, such as Triller’s new Triad Combat promotion, which paid MMA stars handsomely to compete against boxers for it’s debut offering just last weekend.