UFC's Kevin Lee turns to Firas Zahabi, Tristar Gym in effort to turn things around

Kevin Lee has gone slightly off the grid since his last loss to Rafael dos Anjos, and it appears he has made a major change.

Speaking to Submission Radio, Lee (17-5 MMA, 10-5 UFC) revealed that after visiting several gyms, he has decided to make the move to Tristar Gym.

“I went to L.A., I went to Phoenix, I went to Denver, I went to Montreal, and I’m back in Vegas now,” Lee said. “But you know, (I went) to try and find that guy out there, that somebody who would really speak to me. And to be honest, I feel like I did in Montreal with Tristar and Firas Zahabi. And just having him and being around him and getting to pick his brain and his mind and seeing how it works, I feel like that’s what I’ve been missing.

“I know that’s what I’ve been missing a little bit ever since my coach, Robert Follis, passed. I haven’t had that guy to really guide me and show me the correct way of what to do, and I’ve just been kind of trying to listen to myself and figure I got it enough. But it’s been a real growing process for me to understand I gotta listen to other people sometimes.”

Lee is 1-3 in his last four fights, and his last loss to dos Anjos at UFC on ESPN+ 10 finally prompted him to make a change. He has decided to leave Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas where he used to train, and head over to Montreal.

“Even though this is an individual sport, even though I am the only one stepping in there, it’s such a team effort of being able to rely on somebody else’s experience,” Lee said. “So, working with Firas, who’s going to be the biggest addition to my camps, going up and training with Tristar with all these guys, is gonna be a big one for me. So, I’m taking it one step at a time, and that’s the only thing I’m focused on.”

Despite having called out Montreal staple and former two-division champion Georges St. Pierre on numerous occasions, Lee is excited for the opportunity to train with a man considered by many to be the greatest of all time.

“Yeah, I mean, me and Georges are cool,” Lee said. “We pretty much hung out the whole time. He showed me around Montreal. He showed me all his little spots. We cool. You know, at the end of the day, he understands it. We’re martial artists, we’re competitors. If I’m not trying to push myself to the limit, and I’m not trying to fight the best that’s out there, then I feel like he wouldn’t understand me as much. I think he’s got the same kind of fire in him. So, he gets it. I mean, I’m a competitor. I’m gonna try and fight the best of the best. So, I think that’s like the biggest compliment that I could pay to you, is by trying to fight you.”

With no fight currently lined up, Lee is targeting a return before the end of the year. He knows the transition to a new gym can be challenging as he looks to get back to his winning ways.

“October is where it’s at,” Lee said. “That’s where we’d be looking at. We trying to right now figure out location and what card. I think a pay-per-view makes a lot of sense. I think there’s one here in Vegas. So, a homecoming in Vegas always sounds good. But then again, there’s the San Francisco card in October. There’s a lot going on. So, October is where I’m looking at. There’s a growing process every time you work with a different camp and working with different training partners and having that communication with a different coach. But we’ll get it together, and that will be the next road in the comeback.”

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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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