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Kevin Lee Wanted to Step in to Fight Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223

April 16, 2018 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
UFC Fight Night Atlantic City Kevin Lee UFC

Kevin Lee spoke with MMAjunkie ahead of his fight with Edson Barboza at UFC Fight Night 128. Highlights are below:

On not getting the offer to replace Tony Ferguson against Khabib Nurmagomedov: “The only reason I think they didn’t offer me that fight is because they knew hands down, before they even said it, I would have said, ‘Yes, I’m on my way.’ I weighed lower than Max (Holloway) did when they offered Max the fight. I think that would have been the fight to make, but it’s all in good time.”

On Al Iaquinta’s loss to Nurmagomedov: “Iaquinta, he said a couple weeks ago that he didn’t want to fight Khabib. It showed during the fight. He didn’t show up to fight, he didn’t show up to win. He just showed up to get his paycheck and not get his ass whooped.”

On Nurmagomedov being exposed in the fight: “You had so many people shocked to see holes in Khabib’s game. I’ve been calling out Khabib for two, three years now. I’ve been seeing them holes. I said that Iaquinta was going to show him, but the man just didn’t stand much of a chance. Me and Iaquinta have had our little back and forth, (and) I don’t really like him personally too much. But the man, he can fight. But when you’re showing up for a three round fight against a muay Thai fighter, how much wrestling did he do? The man was selling homes for like a year, year and a half. He’s not even a pro fighter. He had a busted knee and all this and still showed holes in the man’s game. I want that Khabib fight. I’ve been calling for it for a long time. I feel like I’m going to get a better version of Edson Barboza that fought Khabib a couple months ago. I’m going to whoop this boy even worse then Khabib did, and then from there we can make a fight happen.”

On Nurmagomedov’s limitations: “He was trying the same takedown over and over again. The man don’t have a lot of variety in his game. He’s the same as who beat (Rafael) dos Anjos a few years ago. He’s that exact same fighter. I think once you stop evolving in this game then guys like me are going to catch up to you. Once I get my hands on him that’s really going to show. There was a little bit of frustration watching that fight because I wanted to be the one to expose those holes and I want to be the one to give him that one on his record. But as soon as that fight’s over I got back on what I got to do and that’s go out there and whooping on Edson.”