Kevin Lee outduels Diego Sanchez in promotional debut at Eagle FC 46.
It wasn’t the fight Kevin Lee expected against Diego Sanchez, but he was able to grind through early adversity to a unanimous decision win.
Sanchez opened up the action with a series of heavy low calf kicks that appeared to wobbled Lee from that point on. But, Lee was able to find a way to secure a takedown midway through the round and had Sanchez in big trouble when he got his back.
Sanchez was able to squeeze out of a rear-naked choke attempt to get back to the feet as the first round closed.
Sanchez was able to keep dealing damage to Lee’s lead leg in Round 2. But, Lee began to find his timing with his reach and find his way with Sanchez with his boxing. When he switched to southpaw, he was able to smash Sanchez with his jab and give him fits.
The two fighters had their moments in the final round of the fight, but Lee outpaced Sanchez with volume on the feet. Despite a compromised left leg, Lee was able to give Sanchez issues with his boxing and secure a late knockdown into top mount.
In the final seconds, Lee controlled Sanchez with ground-and-pound strikes and earned the unanimous decision victory. But, Lee would later reveal that he suffered a knee tear from a leg kick in the opening seconds.
Kevin Lee begins the next chapter of his MMA career with a win
Lee has also had a history of weight-cutting issues to 155 pounds and signed with Eagle FC to compete at a less compromising weight class. His last win came against Gregor Gillespie at UFC 244.
Sanchez, like Lee, was making his Eagle FC debut following losses in two of his last three UFC fights. He’s regarded as one of the pioneers of MMA after winning Season 1 of The Ultimate Fighter.
With the win over Sanchez, Lee is set for a new chapter in his MMA career and is already off to a great start in 2022.