Report: Kevin Lee moves to welterweight, set to return at UFC 264

Josh Hedges / UFC / Getty

Kevin Lee is set to return at UFC 264 after a 16-month layoff.

The former interim lightweight title challenger will face Sean Brady in a welterweight bout on July 10 in Las Vegas, sources told ESPN's Brett Okamoto.

Both fighters have reportedly verbally agreed to the matchup, but neither has signed a contract yet.

This will be Lee's first fight since March 2020 when he suffered a submission loss to current lightweight champion Charles Oliveira in the first UFC main event after the COVID-19 pandemic hit North America. Lee has been out of action due to multiple knee surgeries.

Almost all of Lee's UFC bouts have taken place at 155 pounds, but he's headed to 170 pounds to face Brady. Lee has competed in that division once in the Octagon, falling to Rafael dos Anjos in May 2019.

Once considered a top lightweight contender who faced Tony Ferguson for the interim belt in 2017, Lee is 1-3 over his past four outings. He was last victorious in a "Knockout of the Year" candidate against Gregor Gillespie in November 2019.

Brady is undefeated in mixed martial arts and has won four straight fights since signing with the UFC in 2019. In his last bout, he submitted Jake Matthews at UFC 259 in March. The 28-year-old holds a 14-0 professional record.

A lightweight trilogy bout between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor is scheduled to headline UFC 264 at T-Mobile Arena in front of a capacity crowd.

Report: Kevin Lee moves to welterweight, set to return at UFC 264
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