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UFC Milwaukee: Kevin Lee says first fight with Al Iaquinta doesn't matter much anymore



MILWAUKEE – It’s been nearly five years since Kevin Lee made his debut in the UFC – with a loss to Al Iaquinta.

Saturday, the lightweights will run it back, and Lee says there’s no real reason to look back at the unanimous decision loss he suffered at UFC 169.

“I don’t even really look at that fight anymore as a building block,” Lee told MMAjunkie today after an open workout for fans in Milwaukee. “I’m a completely different fighter. I’ve had 12 fights since then and taken on much bigger challenges and I feel like I’m getting better and better each fight, and Al is just another stepping stone into that.”

Lee (17-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) and Iaquinta (13-4-1 MMA, 8-3 UFC) headline UFC on FOX 31, which takes place Saturday at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. The main card airs on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass. The event is the UFC’s final card on the FOX network ahead of a move to new broadcast partner ESPN in 2019.

Lee has won six of his past seven fights. His lone loss was for the interim lightweight title at UFC 216 against Tony Ferguson. But apart from that, he has finishes in five straight wins and believes he keeps improving.

UFC on FOX 31 also will mark his fourth straight appearance in a UFC main event.

“The thing is, I’m steadily getting better, and steady getting my momentum going,” Lee said. “I knew once I got that first (main event) that I was going to make the most of that opportunity. Once I got the next one, I’m going to make the most of that, and the most after that – and this is no different. It’s only prepping me for the big fights, anyway. I prefer five rounds – I feel like I’m better in a five-round fight, and the more experience I get, the better.”

There has been a little bit of tension between the two leading into the fight. And while Iaquinta said he isn’t sure just how he’s ever rubbed Lee the wrong way to cause any kind of a beef, Lee said his preference would be to make Iaquinta a little less relevant.

“Me and him just don’t really mesh together,” Lee said. “We’re just two different types of people. I just don’t like his style. I just don’t dig him too much. I just feel like his voice is already big enough – the world needs no more Al Iaquintas. So I’m doing a good job of booting his ass up out of here.”

Check out the full interview with Lee in the video above.

And for more on UFC on FOX 31, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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