Cutting weight is a part and parcel of the fight game. However cutting water weight by using substances like diuretics or techniques like sauna can be extremely dangerous for a fighter. Still every fighter cuts weight to grab any small advantage he can over his opponent and former UFC interim lightweight challenger Kevin Lee is no different.
Lee in his last fight at Fight Night 128 in Atlantic City put up a clinical performance to decimate Edson Barboza via TKO in the fifth round. However, Lee missed weight for the fight weighing in at around two pounds over the lightweight limit. Lee had problems making weight in his title fight against Tony Ferguson prior to the fight against Barboza as well. When asked by the fans whether he would consider a move to welterweight, Lee dismissed saying he will continue fighting as a lightweight until the UFC adds a new 165-pound division.
“This is my division, this is the best division in the UFC, and it’s where the biggest fights are. And I can still make the weight,” Lee told BloodyElbow.com. “This was just a mistiming thing; I don’t put it on nobody else. I’m not the type of dude that makes excuses. But real fighters really understand what I’m saying when I say it was a timing issue.”
In May 2017, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), considered the 165-pound division as part of a ground-breaking 10-point plan. UFC President Dana White however does not like the idea. He believes adding more weight classes is not the solution for extreme weight cutting as fighters competing in 170-pound division would simply try to cut more weight.
“There’s a reason why the athletic commissions approved it,” Lee said. “Paul Felder, a couple minutes before I stepped on the scale, he stepped on the scale and he’s 190. Edson is just as big as me. (UFC champ) Khabib (Nurmagomedov) has documented kidney failure and is still trying to make 155 from 190.
“They’re waiting on me to die. I’m pushing for it because that’s what needs to be done.”
Lee also gave a suggestion as to how UFC can incorporate the new weight class right away. It revolves around the UFC 225 interim welterweight title bout between Colby Covington and Rafael Dos Anjos.
“They can go ahead and after this interim title fight, scrap [the division], and make a 175-pound division. The (interim) champ vs. Tyron Woodley at 175,” Lee said. “And then they go ahead and make a 165 division. There’s already three, four titles floating around that area, anyway. Why not just add an extra weight class and crown someone else the champion?
“They’re making another title in the same weight division, so instead of just having three random titles, why not just have three weight classes with three rightful champions?”
Even if Dana White does not agree, Lee is fairly confident about the division being introduced.
“I think it’s bound to happen,” he said. “It’s already been approved; we’re just waiting on logistics. And in the mean time, I’m gonna still out there and do my job, make weight, and whoop ass.”