Kevin Lee is considering retiring from the professional combat sports world.
After a short one-bout run with Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Eagle FC, the former title contender re-signed with the UFC earlier this year. At UFC Vegas 76, Lee secured a rematch against one of Russia’s top prospects Rinat Fakhretdinov.
Lee had not competed in the Octagon for two years prior to this bout. Unfortunately for Lee, his return didn’t last long since Fakhretdinov used a guillotine choke to finish out Lee in a little under a minute.
And it seems like Lee will put his gloves away permanently after the loss. Lee confessed on his TikTok, “I’m going to retire from the UFC but I can’t find the right words to use in the video”
In the video, Lee reflected back on his career and achievements. He also said that it has been quite difficult for his the last few years due to his injuries. Therefore, he is making the conscious choice of retiring.
— DotCityFighting (@DotCityFighting) July 2, 2023
Lee stated: “To make a long story short, I’m deciding to retire from MMA and the UFC. It’s been 12 years, 12 long years of me being the best fighter I can be, and a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication to trying to be the best fighter in the world. When I look back on it, I had a hell of a career, I fought a lot of tough guys, some of the toughest guys in the world, I always put up a fight, I never backed down, and always challenged myself to do things that I didn’t think I was capable of doing.”
“The last three years have been rough, especially on my body. It’s been a lot of injuries, and honestly that’s one of the main factors of me making this decision: I’m in need of another surgery after that last fight.”
Lee went on to say that he was proud of how far he reached in his career. He also expressed is gratitude to his fans who supported him.
He continued: “So again, I hold my head up high. I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to but I’m proud of myself for this career that I’ve had and I appreciate everybody who has given two f****s about me and everybody who has supported me. Even the people that kind of doubted and hated along the way, I appreciate everybody. It’s been a hell of a journey. I’m still young, I still capable of doing a lot in this life and that’s what I’m going to do.”
The 30-year-old UFC veteran declined to go into depth about his retirement plan, although he did respond to a critic.
“There’s more to life than fighting,” wrote Lee.
Lee has faced some of the top combatants in the MMA world, coming close to defeating Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight title in the UFC in 2017. He has also competed against previous UFC champions like Charles Oliveira and Rafael Dos Anjos.
Additionally, Lee just gave birth to a child and recently converted to Islam.
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