‘I’ve wanted that fight for a long time’: Kevin Lee says he's coming for Khabib after viral head-kick KO at UFC 244
American fighter Lee produced a highlights-reel KO at UFC 244 in New York on Saturday, sensationally finishing the highly-rated Gillespie with a massive head-kick midway through the first round.
The brutal KO moved ‘Motown Phenom’ Lee’s record to 18-5 overall, snapping a two-fight losing streak and making people quite literally sit up and take note.
And now the man who has fought some of the biggest names in the game says he is back on track for a potential shot at the title – demanding to face the winner of the Khabib versus Tony Ferguson bout which is set for March or April of next year.
Before that, he admitted be would need "one or two" fights as a stepping stone, potentially against the likes of former UFC two-weight champ Conor McGregor.
"If I had my pick, it would be somebody like Conor," Lee told TMZ Sports when asked about his preferences for his next fight.
“There’s a lot of good fighters out there… Who’s the biggest fight, who’s the one most deserving, it’s not up to me, but if I had my pick, it would be someone like Conor, but I know he wouldn’t want to fight me, they’ve seen that performance,” he added.
“He ain’t gonna take that fight… [Anthony] Pettis is still out there, [Justin] Gaethje’s out there too… December, January, I just want to get back in there… You don’t see motherf*ckers calling me out.”
Lee said that ultimately he was aiming at the winner of the Khabib versus Ferguson bout – despite having been beaten by the latter via third-round submission at UFC 216 back in 2017.
“To be honest, that’s the fight that I’m gunning for, is the winner of Tony against Khabib,"
“I know I‘ve got to do one or two more to get to that point… but I’ve been wanting to fight Khabib for [a long time]… that’s the fight I want.
“Whoever wins that fight is going to be the best in the world, and I want that fight.”
The Michigan fighter did not mention Khabib’s teammate Islam Makhachev, despite the Dagestani lightweight calling out Lee after his win at UFC 244.
Lee initially signaled he would be open to that fight, even in Russia, while Khabib’s father and trainer Abdulmanap – who also works with the number 15 ranked Makhachev – urged the pair to make it happen.
However, it seems that Lee is now talking up even bigger prizes.