weather icon Partly Cloudy

UFC’s Kevin Lee ‘devastated, embarrassed’ after falling in rematch

Lightweight contender Kevin Lee fell short in his rematch with Al Iaquinta on Saturday night and subsequently took a big step back in the division.

His disappointment with the unanimous decision loss in the main event of UFC of Fox 31 in Milwaukee was evident immediately after the fight.

“I’m devastated,” the Las Vegan said after losing a decision to Iaquinta for the second time. “Embarrassed. You know these sports sometimes have like the lowest of lows. I really (haven’t felt) lower than I do right now, but I’ll be alright. You know, I might not get another shot at Al (Iaquinta). I’ve fought a lot of great fighters in my career and he’s definitely up there amongst them. We’ll see what happens once everything gets settled down.”

SHORT DESCRIPTION (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Lee has been pushing for a new 165-pound division, something that has often been discussed even though UFC officials have repeatedly denied is imminent. It would definitely help Lee, whose brutal weight cuts to 155 pounds seem to have impacted his performance on multiple occasions.

Khabib Nurmagomedov, the lightweight champion Lee was hoping to challenge had he won on Saturday, indicated he believes ego may be the thing holding Lee back in his championship pursuits.

“Stay humble Kevin Lee,” Nurmagomedov posted on social media after the fight. “Humble is the key.”

Lee, a Detroit native, appeared to be in better spirits Monday afternoon when he crafted a response.

“I beat racism, the system, poverty, and everybody that (wants to) see me lose for no reason,” he wrote. “(Expletive) being humble.”

Friends in high places

UFC president Dana White was still talking about the sensational UFC 231 show in Toronto on Dec. 9.

He’s not the only one.

White said one of his friends in Washington D.C. had reached out to talk about an event headlined by a thrilling featherweight title bout between Brian Ortega and Max Holloway.

“Last week was amazing,” White said on Fox Sports 1. “President Trump called me last week to talk about the fights. He called me on Tuesday to talk about it. He said he couldn’t stop thinking about it and we talked for like 15 minutes about the fights on Saturday. So yes, that’s when you know you had a great show.”

Trump has been a supporter of the UFC since hosting an event at one of his properties in Atlantic City nearly two decades ago. White spoke on his behalf at the Republican National Convention in 2016.

UFC 235 starting to take shape

The UFC returns to T-Mobile Arena later this month for a massive UFC 232 card, but several fights already have been booked for the organization’s next card at the venue March 2.

Undefeated former Bellator and One Championship champion Ben Askren will make his UFC debut against former UFC welterweight champ Robbie Lawler on the card. The bout had been set for UFC 233 in Anaheim, California, but that event was cancelled last week.

A welterweight bout between Mickey Gall and Diego Sanchez has also been booked for UFC 235.

The UFC schedule will move forward with UFC 234 in Melbourne, Australia, maintaining the name even though there won’t be a UFC 233. Twelve pay-per-view events still are planned for 2019.

No main event has been named for UFC 235, though it is the rumored destination for the return of Nick Diaz.

Jessica-Rose Clark done at flyweight

Las Vegan Jessica-Rose Clark said she will no longer compete at flyweight after a medical issue during her weight cut forced her removal from the UFC on Fox 31 card.

Clark had been scheduled to face Andrea Lee at the event.

She won the first two fights of her UFC career, but missed weight for her debut on short-notice in November 2017.

Clark was successful in her next two cuts, but went 1-1 and struggled to get down to 125 pounds.

She will now go back to 135 pounds for her next fight, which is still to be determined.

More MMA: Follow at CoveringTheCage.com and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Covering The Cage Videos
Greg Hardy, former NFL star, on MMA knockout
The former NFL star needed just 17 seconds to score a knockout on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series (Adam Hill/Review-Journal)
Marlon Moraes says Henry Cejudo will regret stepping up to bantamweight - VIDEO
UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo is coming up to the bantamweight division to battle Marlon Moraes for the vacant belt on June 8 at UFC 238. Moraes said Cejudo will regret going after a second title in a new division and added that he thinks his path will cross with former champion TJ Dillashaw in the future.
Paige VanZant details her arm injury, when she can return - VIDEO
UFC strawweight Paige VanZant was briefly linked to fight at UFC 236, but had to withdraw from the bout due to a broken arm. As a guest on the RJ Ringside Podcast, she detailed the injury and also spoke about joining the M-1 Global booth as a color commentator.
UFC 236 Press Conference Highlights
UFC 236 will feature a pair of interim title fights. In the main event, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway will face lightweight contender Dustin Poirier and middleweights Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum will collide in the co-main event. UFC 236 will take place in Atlanta, Ga., on Apr. 13.
Jon Jones retains light heavyweight belt at UFC 235 - VIDEO
Jon Jones retained the UFC light heavyweight belt when he earned a decision over Anthony Smith in the main event of UFC 235.
Kamaru Usman crowned new champ at UFC 235 — VIDEO
Kamaru Usman became the first African-born fighter to claim a UFC belt when he defeated Tyron Woodley to become the promotion's new welterweight champion.
UFC 235 Official Weigh-in Results - VIDEO
All 24 fighters competing at UFC 235 at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2 stepped on the scale prior for the official fight card weigh-ins. All four fighters competing in the title bouts slated for the event made weight.
UFC's Jones says he has no shame after recent drug test results are released - VIDEO
Though recent drug test results still show trace amounts of Turinabol in his system, UFC light heayvweight champion Jon Jones says he has no shame and is hiding nothing as he prepares for his UFC 235 title bout against Anthony Smith.
Anthony Smith stays level-headed prior to UFC 235 title fight - VIDEO
Despite UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones being in the spotlight for drug test discrepancies and other outside the cage struggles, Anthony Smith says he is tuning out the noise and remaining focused on the challenge of beating the reigning champion in the cage.
UFC 235 Media Day Highlights
Highlights and staredowns from the top three fights on the UFC 235 fight card taking place at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2.
Dustin Poirier beats up Max Holloway at UFC 236

Dustin Poirier bloodied Max Holloway and won a unanimous decision for the UFC interim lightweight title on Saturday night, denying Holloway his chance to become only the fourth fighter to hold two belts at the same time.

Poirier bloodies Holloway, wins UFC interim lightweight belt

Dustin Poirier bloodied Max Holloway and won a unanimous decision for the UFC interim lightweight title on Saturday night, denying Holloway his chance to become only the fourth fighter to hold two belts at the same time.