Kevin Lee missed weight ahead of his main event fight with Edson Barboza at UFC Fight Night Atlantic City, and went into the fight with even more left to prove in order to keep his name in the championship conversation.
After losing his title opportunity, his coach, and his battle with making weight, Lee responded with an outstanding showcase of strategy, wrestling, and mettle. In the middle of the fight, Lee was able to overcome a signature Edson Barboza spinning wheel kick and recover on his way to a fifth round TKO stoppage due to a cut.
Lee crushed Barboza throughout the fight with heavy ground and pound, and was even willing to trade strikes with the dangerous Brazilian. You can see an excerpt from our Fightful.com live coverage below.
Round Five: The round begins with Barboza attacking Lee with an overhand right, Lee comes forward and he swings away at Barboza. Barboza catches a swinging Lee with a right to the midsection, Barboza then nails Lee with a left hook followed by a kick to the midsection. Lee looks for a takedown and Barboza avoids it, the referee halts the fight so a doctor can check a cut on Barboza and the doctor stops the fight.
Official Result: #6 Kevin Lee def. #5 Edson Barboza by TKO via doctor stoppage (2:18, R5)
Following the fight, Lee exclaimed "It's Khabib time!," calling out the current UFC Lightweight Champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Lee lost in his interim championship opportunity last fall to the now-injured Tony Ferguson while dealing with a staph infection.