Kevin Lee has lost only three times in his career, one of which he has the chance to avenge on Dec. 15 at the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center in Milwaukee. He will face Al Iaquinta for the second time in what’s shaping up to be a scrap that will deliver fireworks.
“The Motown Phenom” has notable victories over Edson Barboza and Michael Chiesa and would want nothing more than to beat the fighter who dealt him the first loss of his career. Before you catch Lee and Ferguson go head to head at UFC on Fox 31, here are some important numbers that define the career of Lee.
37: Wins without a loss as a senior, wrestling for Grand Valley State University. The record was good enough for the NCAA division II wrestler to be a national tournament qualifier. In high school, he started during his junior year at Southfield High School in his home state of Michigan.
2: Fights in a local event called Instinct MMA to start his professional career. Lee decisioned Levis Labrie at Instinct MMA: Instinct Fighting 3. In his second fight, he forced another decision triumph, this time, opposite Mansour Barnaoui.
7: Fights before getting signed by Ultimate Fighting Championship, and all went in his favor. Lee tallied 4 submission and 3 decision wins, wrapping it up with the Total Warrior Combat lightweight championship. With such an impressive feat, the world’s top promotion tapped him to face Al Iaquinta for his debut on Feb. 1, 2014.
16: Takedowns in three consecutive fights since dropping his Octagon debut to Iaquinta. Lee displayed his rich wrestling background, scoring four takedowns each on Jesse Ronson, Jon Tuck and Michel Prazeres.
5: Fight winning streak was his longest in the UFC. Lee suffered his second loss to Leonardo Santos at UFC 194. But after that setback, he raked in five straight victories at the expense of Efrain Escudero, Jake Matthews, Magomed Mustafaev, Francisco Trinaldo and Michael Chiesa.
7: Huge takedowns scored on Mustafaev. It was total domination for Lee in the grappling department as he was also active on the ground, with 11 passes and two submission attempts. On the feet, they landed 20 significant strikes apiece, so Lee’s grappling dominance was crucial for his win.
5: First-round stoppages in his career. In the UFC, he choked out James Moontasri at UFC Fight Night 71 and Michael Chiesa at UFC Fight Night 112 and TKO’d Jake Matthews at “The Ultimate Fighter” 23 Finale.
2: Times he appeared in a “TUF” finale. Prior to his stoppage of Matthews at TUF’s 23rd edition, he scored his first victory in the UFC against Jesse Ronson at the “TUF 19” finale.
55: Significant strikes landed on Tony Ferguson, who was only trailing by a hair with 54. Lee, who also rallied for three takedowns, appeared to be up on the scorecards coming into the third round. Unfortunately for him, “El Cucuy” managed to sink in a triangle choke that crumbled his title aspirations at UFC 216.