After a 17-month layoff, former UFC lightweight interim title challenger Kevin Lee returned to action and begun his second stint in the UFC’s welterweight division. Originally scheduled to face Sean Brady, Lee met Daniel Rodriguez, who took the fight on short notice after Brady had to withdraw due to injury.
Early in the first round both Lee and Rodriguez had their moments in the striking exchanges, and with under three minutes left in the first round, Rodriguez was able to stuff the first takedown attempt from Lee. Although his first attempt was stuffed, Lee would get his first takedown of the fight just a minute later in the first round, and sustained top control and position throughout the ending of the round.
As the second round began, Rodriguez started off looking effective on the feet, but with three minutes to go, Lee once again got another takedown. Looking to get control and take Rodriguez’s back, the position was turned and the fighters returned back to the center of the Octagon. The fight stayed on the feet most of the round and Rodriguez was in control for most of the exchanges. With 20 seconds left, Lee was rocked by a right hand from Rodriguez and although he was on wobbly legs, Lee survived the second round.
— UFC (@ufc) August 29, 2021
The fight was seemingly tied through two rounds but Rodriguez came out swinging and catching Lee during the striking exchanges. A leg kick from Kevin Lee looked to turn the momentum for Lee who immediately went for the takedown and was able to secure his third takedown of the fight. Daniel Rodriguez showed his trademark toughness by getting up from the takedown and returning the fight to the feet with just two minutes to go in the final round.
The decision to take the fight on short notice paid for Daniel Rodriguez who picked up a unanimous decision victory with all three judges scoring the fight in his favor, 29-28. With his victory, Rodriguez called for a spot inside the welterweight rankings and told UFC President Dana White that he’s ready to fight whenever he’s called upon.
Official result: Daniel Rodriguez defeats Kevin Lee by unanimous decision 29-28 x3
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