Top-five UFC lightweight contender Kevin Lee currently has former champion Anthony Pettis in his crosshairs, but ‘The Motown Phenom’ is also interested in a fight with undefeated wrecking machine Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is scheduled to defend his title against Conor McGregor on Oct. 6.
Lee, who made mince meat of Edson Barboza earlier this year at UFC Fight Night 128, would prefer to fight Khabib over McGregor because of the Dagestani’s feared reputation as an ‘unstoppable tank’. ‘The Eagle’ is undefeated after twenty six professional fights and has steamrolled most of his opponents inside the Octagon.
“I’d rather fight Khabib [Nurmagomedov] to be honest,” Lee told Farah Hannoun in a recent interview, per BJPenn.com. “Just because people see him as just this unstoppable tank. Ya know, Conor [McGregor’s] already got a couple losses on there. So Conor takes it away from me.
“To be the one to get rid of that 0… Something like that only comes around once in a lifetime. Especially with a guy like Khabib. I just see him, I’m a lion myself. When I see that meal I gotta go for it.”
Stylistically, Lee is a tough matchup for Nurmagomedov. The 25-year-old has proved himself to be an exceptional grappler with an evolving stand-up arsenal. Although he lost to Tony Ferguson last year, Lee had plenty of moments of success in the fight and was more than holding his own against ‘El Cucuy’. A win over Pettis, and possibly another high-profile win after that, would put the budding talent right back into the title mix at lightweight.
For now, though, all eyes are on Khabib vs. McGregor. The UFC 229 extravaganza takes place on October 6 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.