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Kevin Lee will look to make an immediate impact in his UFC welterweight debut this Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 152 in Rochester, New York when he takes on former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos.
Lee has spent his entire 14-fight UFC career in the cutthroat 155-pound division, but after several difficult weight cuts he decided to move up to the heavier division. The 26-year-old’s last fight inside the Octagon was against Al Iaquinta in a fight where Lee never really got into his rhythm and was outpointed for most of the fight, losing via unanimous decision.
Lee’s first test at welterweight is no small challenge, as he’ll be taking on the crafty and heavy-handed dos Anjos, who has also found a new home at 170 pounds.
“The Motown Phenom” spoke to BJPenn.com ahead of his fight at UFC Rochester and said he feels the competition at welterweight is ahead of the lightweight division and is ready for the challenge.
“Right now, welterweight is really showing it is at the top of the game” Lee said. “I think it has passed lightweight for the most talent. He is ranked No. 3, it will put me up there. It will put me in the mix, for sure. I always like to shake s--- up, so I’ll throw my name in the hat.”
Dos Anjos has struggled recently, albeit against the very best, losing his last two bouts against Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman. Those two -- who are slated to face each other in a 170-pound title fight later in the year -- both manhandled “RDA” using their size and high-level wrestling for their entire 25-minute fights.
The 34-year-old’s last victory was against Robbie Lawler back in December 2017 in a fight where Lawler tore his ACL.
UFC Fight Night 152: Dos Anjos vs. Lee takes place Saturday, May 16 at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York. Aside from the titular welterweight main event, the card features Antonio Carlos Jr. in a middleweight tilt with Ian Heinisch and the undefeated Aspen Ladd taking on former flyweight title contender Sijara Eubanks at bantamweight. The entire 13-fight card will air on ESPN+.