Kevin Lee explains key driving factors for return to MMA after brief retirement

UFC veteran Kevin Lee is eager to compete again after hanging up the gloves less than a year ago.

Lee’s last fight in July was a return to the UFC, but it was also his last for the time being. “The Motown Phenom” decided it was time to walk away from the sport after recording his eighth career loss. Now, Lee is itching to return after coming to terms with what he wants from a fighting career going forward.

“Money is a driver. Competition is a driver,” Lee told MMA Junkie Radio. “Those are my two drivers, not necessarily – y’all know me, I’ve never been one to chase the accolades or the fame, or anybody to recognize me as this or that. Honestly, I kind of like not being recognized more than anything. But the money is nice. You got to have money in this world, so money is nice.

“I did an interview maybe a week ago, and the guy asked me, ‘Are you coming back just for the money?’ – or because you need the money, or whatever. Even if that was true, then anybody who’s a real man in this world knows when you’re doing something for the money, that makes you super-duper dangerous. Super dangerous. So, anybody who’s looking to fight me, and say I’m only doing it for the money, well then you better have your f*cking hands up.”

Financial security would be a motivating factor for most people, but during his brief retirement, Lee had time to reflect and answer other questions about himself and what he wants from his fighting career going forward.

Lee is set on returning to 155 pounds after experiments at welterweight and a 165-pound bout under the Eagle FC banner in 2022. He says he’s no longer dreading the sauna sessions, and will do whatever it takes just to make it happen.

Furthermore, this time around, Lee doesn’t appear to be chasing titles, but rather simply the best version of himself.

“I’m really just focused on really achieving my true potential as a person and as a human being,” Lee said. “I think fighting is a great tool to be able to do that. I don’t see anything else out in this world that can really teach me about myself as I have learned through fighting. Sure, I can make money doing other things, but fighting just teaches me too much and it does too much for me that I just want to keep pursuing it and be the best that I can be.

“… In MMA, who hasn’t lost, right? Who’s walking around here undefeated? And if they are walking around here undefeated, they ain’t fought nobody. So, I’m not so much focused on the wins and the losses anymore.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie