Keith Lee keeps making his own name with win at Bellator 245

If Keith Lee keeps this up, people are going to stop calling him “Kevin Lee’s little brother” and simply consider him a rising competitor in his own right.

The younger sibling of the UFC lightweight standout was victorious again Friday night, where he won the evening’s opener at Bellator 245. Lee (7-3 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) defeated Vinicius Zani via unanimous decision in a bout contracted at 140 pounds. The judges’ scores were 30-27, 29-28, and 29-28.

Lee looked poised from the outset, as he carefully picked his spots, using body shots and 1-2 combos to the head to set up higher-impact moves like running knees and head kicks.

Zani (11-7 MMA, 0-2 MMA) ate a wicked head kick to the chin in the closing seconds of the opening round, and this turned into a recurring theme: While Zani never quite got any sustained offensive untracked, he took everything Lee dished out and then kept coming back for more.

This made Lee have to become more patient in the second round, at least until Zani started noticeably slowing down. Lee seemed to know he was up on the cards in the third, as he fought at a methodical pace, but he turned up the heat in the final minute, going for a takedown, and when he didn’t get it, using a big flurry of strikes in the closing seconds.

In improving to 2-0 in Bellator, Lee has now won four consecutive fights. Zani has now dropped three in a row.

Bellator 245 takes place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card airs on Paramount and streams on DAZN following prelims on MMA Junkie.

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