Back in December last year, Kevin Lee made headlines for his interesting contract with Eagle FC, the Russia-based mixed martial arts promotion owned by none other than Khabib Nurmagomedov himself. The deal, which was signed on 15th December, would be paying Lee in Bitcoins, which the former UFC interim lightweight title contender termed as a ‘financial advantage’. And now, Lee has churned out further details about the contract, adding that he will be earning more than what most of the titleholders in the Octagon make.
I’m going to make more than UFC champions in my first fight: Kevin Lee says ahead of his Eagle FC debut
The UFC has a never-ending controversy of unfair pay to their fighters and things have been more dramatic since Francis Ngannou’s case, the reigning UFC heavyweight champion who declined a contract renewal before the Ciryl Gane fight at UFC 270 last month.
Kevin Lee, on the other hand, parted ways with the UFC differently. In November last year, Lee was suspended for six months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and was fined over $16,000 after testing positive for Adderall following his loss against Daniel Rodriguez at UFC Vegas 35. In the same month, Dana White’s promotion decided to release him.
Now, having joined Eagle FC and set to make his return against his former UFC colleague Diego Sanchez on 11th March at Eagle FC 46. Ahead of the bout, Lee spoke to ‘MMA Junkie Radio’ regarding his newly-landed contract, saying that he will be making more on his promotional debut than what most UFC champions earn.
“We know that the best fighters aren’t always in the UFC. There are some guys out in Russia that will beat the f*ck out of you, so my competitiveness in me just drives me to be even better than them – and that’s just a never-ending process. It’s not like now I can chill, now I’m making a bunch of money, now I can go out there and just have fun. No – this is a fight. This is a fight for your life at the end of the day,” said ‘The Motown Phenom’.
People lose their life doing this type of sh*t, so the competitor in me is still up there and still driving. I’m making a bunch of money, though. That’s the part I’m not upset about,” the 29-year-old went on, “My contract will make more than most UFC champions see, so that part is kind of nice. But the competitor in me still thinks it’s the same game. … I’m going to make more than UFC champions in my first fight, so we’re having fun.”
A former TWC Lightweight Champion, Lee’s peak moment in the UFC arrived in October 2017 when he faced former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson in the main event of UFC 216. Now, he aims to make history once again.
“The best part is getting to make history – getting to be able to be the one to pioneer this division. I think it’s going to be something that we can look back on and say, ‘Oh, OK – this is where it all started.’ The rumblings kind of started in 2017 when we started talking about it first, and it took us five, six years to actually do it, and I think it’ll be another three, four years before it’s really implemented. It’s like the time before where there was no 155, there was no 145, there was no 135 and now you’re seeing all these things start to implement. So to be on the forefront of the 165, it gives me a little more drive in order to get it done,” added Lee. [H/T BJPenn.com]
- Former UFC lightweight fighter Kevin Lee says his Eagle FC contract will pay him more than what most UFC champions earn
- Lee is set to make his debut for the Khabib-owned Russian MMA promotion against Diego Sanchez on 11th March
What do you think of Kevin Lee’s Eagle FC contract? Let us know in the comments.
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