After years of resistance and lobbying for a 165-pound division, Kevin Lee has seemingly accepted his fate and will now be moving up to 170. Lee is set to make his welterweight debut in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 9 when he takes on Rafael dos Anjos. UFC officials informed Democrat and Chronicle of the bout, per a report released this afternoon.
Both Lee and Anjos will be looking to get back on track. For dos Anjos, his last two losses have come to wrestlers: first, Colby Covington at UFC 228 last June, and then, in his last bout, losing to Kamaru Usman in the The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale in November. Kevin Lee will be the third consecutive wrestling-heavy foe that dos Anjos will stand across from, but the #4-ranked welterweight is not one to run away from a challenge, and being the one to introduce a man into the division who presents a proven stylistic challenge, despite sitting at #4, a is testament to dos Anjos being open to all comers. The last time dos Anjos was victorious was in December of 2017 when he turned out an impressive unanimous decision victory over former welterweight champ Robbie Lawler.
Kevin Lee is due for a fresh start after losing to Al Iaquinta for the second time in his career, and that is exactly what he will get when he takes on Rafael dos Anjos as the headliner of UFC on ESPN+9. Lee has lost two of his last three fights, but beginning a new chapter at only 26 years of age could very well change the entire story of Lee’s career. Lee will hope to end that chapter with an exclamation mark on May 18th.
UFC on ESPN+9 takes place from the Blue Cross Arena in
Rochester, New York on May 18th. Here is a look at current lineup:
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Kevin Lee
Sijara Eubanks vs. Aspen Ladd
Zak Cummings vs. Trevin Giles
Grant Dawson vs. Mike Trizan
Patrick Cummins vs. Ed Herman
What is your prediction for Kevin Lee’s welterweight debut against Rafael dos Anjos?