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Former UFC fighter Kevin Lee signs with Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Eagle FC

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Kevin Lee has a new fighting home.

The former UFC interim title contender has inked a deal to join the roster at Eagle FC — the promotion owned and operated by retired UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Multiple people with knowledge of the deal confirmed the news to MMA Fighting. News of the signing was first reported by Ariel Helwani.

In addition to Lee’s signing, Eagle FC is also expected to announce the launch of their own 165-pound division — a weight class long sought after by “The Motown Phenom” and numerous other fighters. Lee is expected to compete in that division once he makes his debut in 2022.

The move comes after Lee was released from his UFC contract following a loss to Daniel Rodriguez in his most recent appearance with the promotion.

Once heralded as a future champion, Lee went on his most impressive run with the UFC while putting together a five-fight win streak that led to an interim title fight against Tony Ferguson in 2017. Lee suffered a submission loss that night but quickly rebounded with a fifth-round stoppage against noted striker Edson Barboza in his next fight.

Unfortunately, Lee then suffered through harder times with a 1-4 record in his final five fights with the UFC including back-to-back losses to Rodriguez and current UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira.

Following his release, Lee said he was already fielding offers from numerous suitors but it appears that Eagle FC will be the promotion to land his services. Just after he exited the UFC, Eagle FC CEO Rizvan Magomedov told MMA Fighting that the promotion was interested in Lee and now the two sides have come to an agreement for him to join the promotion.

Lee will now be fighting for Nurmagomedov, who he previously considered one of his dream fights after calling out the retired UFC lightweight champion numerous times over the years.

As the latest addition to the Eagle FC roster, Lee will join a slew of top names including former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans and former bantamweight champion Renan Barao, who joined the promotion ahead of plans to launch in the United States starting with a card in Miami on Jan. 28.