One of the more intriguing storylines heading into Saturday’s UFC event was the return of Kevin Lee — and it went about as badly as it could have.
In the featured preliminary bout of UFC Vegas 76, the one-time interim title challenger made his first promotional appearance in two years to face Rinat Fakhretdinov — a man who entered the bout on a 19-fight win streak. Fifty-five seconds, one brutal knockdown with a right hand, and a deep guillotine choke later, it turned to 20 straight for Fakhretdinov as he left Lee unconscious on the mat.
UFC fighters were put on a bit of an emotional roller-coaster between being super impressed with Fakhretdinov and feeling terrible for Lee after his unceremonious return to the promotion. Check out what some of them had to say following the welterweight contest.
Another “New Kevin Lee” walking to the cage.— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) July 1, 2023
Wow— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) July 1, 2023
Damn...— Chris Curtis The Action Man (@Actionman513) July 1, 2023
Gutted for Kevin. Hats of to Rinat. That was perfect brother
Man I feel for Kevin that was a super tough debut this guys a killer— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) July 1, 2023
That man is dangerous— Terrance McKinney (@twrecks155) July 1, 2023
He should step in to fight Jack next week— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) July 1, 2023