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UFC Fight Night Brazil: Kevin Lee v Charles Oliveira (March 14)
The resurrection of Kevin Lee as a lightweight contender continues on Saturday night when he faces veteran Charles Oliveira in the main event of the UFC Fight Night card in Brasilia, Brazil.
Lee made the move up to welterweight last year after suffered a couple of disappointing defeats in the 155lb ranks and it was a switch that did not pay off as he was submitted by Rafael dos Anjos inside four rounds. He quickly made the move back down to lightweight for his next outing but that was not the only big change he made.
‘The Motown Phenom’ also made a change in trainers, leaving Xtreme Couture to link up with Firas Zahabi at the Tristar Gym in Montreal. The effects of that change were clear for all to see when he stepped inside the Octagon last November.
Lee showcased improved striking skills as he knocked out Gregor Gillespie with a head kick in the first round of the contest, but can he now follow that up with another strong showing against a man who has been hanging around the lightweight division for almost a decade, Charles Oliveira?
Oliveira is enjoying a career-best run of form under the UFC banner, winning each of his last six, but let’s not get carried away by that win streak because not one of those opponents is currently ranked at 155lbs.
Lee is a clear step up in calibre of opposition and that vastly-improved striking game and stopping power will be too much for Oliveira here. The Brazilian has a handful of first-round stoppage losses on his CV and another could come here as Lee sends another message to the rest of the lightweight division.