Kevin Lee has announced his retirement from MMA aged just 30 years old. Lee announced his retirement via a post to his Instagram. The message stated that while he was proud of his career injuries were continually plaguing him and that a major factor in his decision to retire was the fact that he required another surgery after his most recent contest.
Kevin Lee Retires from MMA Competition
View this post on Instagram
His decision to retire may come as a surprise to many as Lee had been quite vocal about his title aspirations in the lead up to his most recent bout, which was his comeback fight to the UFC. That fight would result in a submission loss for Lee and perhaps the growing competition in the organization combined with the consistent injuries forced his hand.
All Potential, No Conviction
At one stage, Kevin Lee was one of the most talked about names in the sport, joining the UFC in 2014 he would amass an extremely impressive record of 9-2 in his first couple of years in the organization.
He would pick up wins over the likes of Michael Chiesa, Jake Matthews and Francisco Trinaldo. This excellent run of form would result in Lee facing off opposite Tony Ferguson for a shot at the interim lightweight championship. Ultimately Lee would come up short against Ferguson and his career would take a nosedive following the fight. While winning his next fight against Edson Barboza, Lee would take a loss to Al Iaquinta. Citing the weight cut as an issue he would move up to welterweight where he would lose his debut against Rafael Dos Anjos.
Lee would then fluctuate between Lightweight and Welterweight picking up a single win and mostly losses before testing positive for Adderall and going 1-4 saw him cut from the organization. He would return to winning ways fighting veteran Diego Sanchez in Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Eagle FC and would be resigned by the UFC, again stating his intention to reach the top.
That never materialized however and as mentioned he would be defeated in his comeback fight to the organization. Once one of the brightest stars in the sport, his career post title shot declined dramatically. A UFC record of 2-5 from 2018 to now signified to Lee that perhaps his best efforts he was simply no longer in the running to be mixing it up with the best of the best.
Still, despite the decline, he still can proudly say that he fought the best fighters in the world and more than held his own for a lengthy period of time in MMA’s premiere organization.
Lee recently was in the news along with his brother Keith Lee in a bizarre situation with UFC middleweight Sean Strickland.