Kevin Lee is calling on Conor McGregor to channel his competitive spirit and battle “The Motown Phenom” next. But, the lightweight doesn’t believe McGregor, or any of the stakeholders for the star’s next bout, want the former champ anywhere near him.

Speculation regarding McGregor’s next fight

For months now, there’s been endless speculation regarding who and when McGregor will fight next. Following his submission loss to champion Khabib Nurmagomedov last October, McGregor repeatedly called for a rematch. But, since the fight wasn’t overly close, and because Tony Ferguson has won 12 straight, “El Cucuy” is expected to face the champ next.

As a result, more recently there’s been talk about McGregor fighting Justin Gaethje or Donald Cerrone. But, it’s been reported that Cerrone is the front-runner to land the fight.

Lee says McGregor will duck the best

Well, Lee recently returned to the lightweight division at UFC 244, and dropped jaws throughout MMA by taking out Gregor Gillespie with a vicious head kick. Since then, the 27-year-old spoke with MMA Fighting, and while discussing his next fight and McGregor, Lee said this:

“They’re still trying to find an opponent for Conor McGregor on Jan. 18,” Lee said. “I know they’re talking about “Cowboy” [Donald Cerrone], but there’s no contract signed there. If he’s a little bit like me, if he’s a competitor at his heart, then he’s going to want to take on the tough wrestler. He should if he wants to get back to Khabib [Nurmagomedov] and really wants to get back into title contention. That fight would make sense.

“It’s not going to happen. I’ll be real. It’s not going to happen. They’re not going to let me within 10 feet of that man, but these are the things that I kind of see.”

“I think a lot of real fans will see that and know that,” Lee explained. “I don’t think he’s willing to do what I’ll do. I don’t think he’s willing to take on the guy who’s on the up and up. You’ve got your back up against the wall, and he’s trying to make a name off of you. I think they’re going to avoid those types of fights.

Now, Lee isn’t the only person to share this view. In fact, both Gaethje and Jorge Masvidal have both argued that McGregor is ducking bouts with them. Lee would very likely pose a very serious threat to McGregor, on account of his wrestling and developing striking game.

But…there are some who would argue that McGregor should choose a more favorable match-up for his return bout. Another loss at this juncture for the controversial star would likely be catastrophic. Although McGregor has fought just twice since 2016 (the other against Floyd Mayweather Jr.), he hasn’t won a fight since then either. MMA is a short-term memory sport, and if McGregor loses his next bout, his stock could take a serious hit.

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