Nevada Athletic Commission director Bob Bennett confirms that Kevin Lee was given the green light by doctors to fight, despite his staph infection.
Right before his main event fight on Saturday night against Tony Ferguson at UFC 216, Kevin Lee walked out and entered the Octagon with a visible lump on his left chest. Analyst Joe Rogan immediately took notice, speculating that it could be a case of staph infection.
Lee did admit during his post-fight interview with Rogan that it was indeed that infection. In his post-fight scrum with the media, he also stated that he was trying to conceal it from officials to avoid the risk of his fight being called off.
“I tried my best to hide it. You know, it’s a big event, a lot has been happening with the UFC, these last couple events and I wasn’t going to let nobody down,” Lee said. “I worked my whole life for this, it was like a culmination of things.”
“But, I’m not going to let this stop me. I’m still going to be a world champion.”
On Sunday after the event, Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett spoke to MMA Fighting. He did not delve into the specifics of Lee’s medical condition due to privacy laws, but only confirmed that doctors gave the fighter the clearance to compete, a decision which he stood by.
“My lead ringside physician found Lee medically fit to fight. He was examined by our lead ringside physician, along with another ringside physician. Both felt he was medically fit to fight,” Bennett said.
Lee lost the fight via third round submission from a triangle choke, subsequently awarding the interim lightweight title to Ferguson.