Top ranked UFC lightweight contender Kevin Lee fell short in his efforts against Tony Ferguson this past weekend at UFC 216. The two top lightweights fought for the interim UFC lightweight title where Tony Ferguson submitted an exhausted Kevin Lee in the third round via triangle choke. However, Lee nearly lost the battle the day before at the weigh-ins as he nearly missed the cutoff time to make the 155lb limit.
Bad weight cuts are becoming the norm for many UFC fighters, but “The Motown Phenom” says he was completely out of it while trying to make weight at UFC 216.
“The actual weight cut itself didn’t start off bad. It started off the same as most of my other ones. I normally come into fight week about 176 and I’ve got about 20 pounds to cut, this time 21, so I came in at 176. I keep details of all my weight cuts so I know exactly where to dial in and where to turn it up. ” Lee told Chael Sonnen on his podcast.
“So I was following one of my weight cuts that went really well when I went in Ireland and everything was fine and we dialed it back. I normally don’t start the actual water cut until about 10 PM, but we dialed it back to about 5 PM to give myself the extra time for the extra pound and the weight started coming off quick. I normally go to sleep the night before at about 165, this time I went to sleep about 161 so when we woke up at 5 AM, we kind of were in too much of a lackadaisical. I was kind of in a good mood, like, ‘Oh, this is gonna be smooth. I’ve only got six pounds to cut. I normally cut nine pounds.’ I thought it was gonna be smooth and I took it a little too light.
Lee continued, “The first three hours I only got a pound off. Put yourself in my shoes, it’s 8:00, the weigh-ins start at 9:00, and I’ve still got five pounds to cut; so they’re literally throwing boiling water into the hot tub with me because I’ve got to get it off now, get it off quick. . .
“So right around 10:30 is when the doctor came up and we were still a pound and a half over and he was saying I had to weigh in by 11:00 and then they’d give me the extra hour. I was hoping that somehow their scale was off and they would just give me the pound. I was hoping and I was praying but it was what it was.”
Kevin Lee says he was so out of it due to the severe dehydration, he barely knew where he was.
“That last hour that I had to cut that extra pound, I don’t even know how I got it off. I don’t know where I was. Your mind just doesn’t want to work when you’re in those kind of states. . .
“Like I said, I don’t even remember much. I don’t really know, I was kind of out of it and I just left it up to my coaches and they got the job done. Once I actually made the weight, as soon as I sat down I was more exhausted than I – I don’t think I’ve ever really felt like that in my life. I was carrying the stress of the whole event too so it was a lot.”