HomeUFCFormer UFC Fighter Kevin Lee Announces Retirement from MMA

Former UFC Fighter Kevin Lee Announces Retirement from MMA

Former UFC fighter Kevin Lee announces retirement from mixed martial arts after a successful career in the lightweight division. Read more about his journey and accomplishments.

Key Points
Kevin Lee announces retirement from MMA
Leaves with a professional record of 19-8
Fought top competition at lightweight
Advocated for a 165-pound division
Last appearance resulted in a submission loss

Former UFC interim title challenger Kevin Lee has announced his retirement from mixed martial arts. The 30-year-old fighter leaves the sport with an overall professional record of 19-8, with most of his fights taking place under the UFC banner. In an Instagram post, Lee expressed his decision to retire after 12 years of being the best fighter he could be. Despite falling short in his bid for the UFC’s interim lightweight championship against Tony Ferguson in 2017, Lee had a successful career fighting top competition at lightweight.

Rise to Title Contention

Originally from Detroit and nicknamed the "Motown Phenom," Kevin Lee made a name for himself in the UFC with a 9-2 start. This propelled him into title contention, where he faced tough opponents such as Ferguson, Charles Oliveira, Rafael Dos Anjos, Al Iaquinta, Edson Barboza, and Michael Chiesa. Although Lee went 4-4 in his last eight fights, he remained a respected fighter in the lightweight division.

Advocacy for a 165-Pound Division

Throughout his career, Kevin Lee advocated for the creation of a 165-pound division in MMA. However, this proposal has yet to gain traction in the sport. Towards the end of his career, Lee moved up to welterweight, but his last appearance resulted in a 55-second submission loss to Rinat Fakhretdinov at UFC Fight Night on July 1 in Las Vegas.

Retirement Announcement

In his retirement announcement, Kevin Lee thanked his fans and expressed gratitude for the 12 years of hard work and dedication he put into his MMA career. While he may have fallen short of becoming the best fighter in the world, Lee reflected on his accomplishments and the impact he made in the sport.


Kevin Lee’s retirement marks the end of a successful MMA career. Despite not capturing a UFC title, he fought against some of the best in the lightweight division and remained a respected competitor. Lee’s advocacy for a 165-pound division will be remembered, and his move to welterweight added a new chapter to his career. As he embarks on the next chapter of his life, the MMA community wishes Kevin Lee the best in his future endeavors.