Following his decision to retire from mixed martial arts competition following his return to the Octagon at UFC Vegas 76 earlier this month, former interim lightweight title challenger, Kevin Lee has revealed he laments a failed clash with former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor during his initial stint with the promotion.
Lee, who made his Octagon return at UFC Vegas 76 just earlier this month, suffered his third consecutive loss inside the Octagon, dropping a first round guillotine choke defeat to Rinat Fakhretdinov in the opening minute of their welterweight clash.
Last year, the Missouri native headlined a Eagle FC event hosted by former UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov at the super lightweight limit of 165lbs against The Ultimate Fighter winner, Diego Sanchez – landing a decision win over the New Mexico veteran.
Kevin Lee discusses failed fight against Conor McGregor back in 2017
And reflecting on his achievements in the sport, Lee admitted that he wished his result against former interim champion, Tony Ferguson went his way back in 2017 – believing an interim title win would have set him up to fight then-champion, McGregor.
“I just wish I was smarter, especially in fights like the Tony Ferguson fight,” Kevin Lee told Submission Radio during a recent interview. “I feel like that fight cost me a lot, it cost me my head coach, which really changed the trajectory of my career.”
“It obviously cost me the world title, it cost me a fight against Conor McGregor which would’ve changed a lot of things financially,” Kevin Lee explained. “So, if there is any fights that I wish had gone different is the Tony Ferguson fight.But, I don’t have any regrets, no. I learned a lot, especially from that one.”
19-8 as a professional, during his initial run with the UFC, Lee racked up victories over the likes of Efrain Escudero, Jake Matthews, Francisco Trinaldo, Michael Chiesa, Edson Barboza, and Gregor Gillespie.