UFC Tonight caught up with Kevin Lee in his hometown of Detroit

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The UFC Lightweight attributes his success in the Octagon to the example his parents set.

[MUSIC PLAYING] - Being from Detroit is a different world. I started this hashtag #25toLife for a reason. And it's to show that I'm going to be a world champion at 25. When I was 12, 13 years old, I was supposed to be doing 25 years right now.

- There were tough times. We were homeless a couple times, just me and my husband raising our children. We didn't have family support. It was just us.

- It would have been so easy for me to get into other ways of making money, you know, the wrong things.

- He's always been around hardworking people. We grew up in the poor areas, but we had a lot of love.

- It's hard, especially when you make no money with all the hard work, and you still don't get to see the rewards. It shows persistence. It shows dedication. And that's one of the things that instilled in me. I was like, my family ain't never going to through this [BLEEP] again. I'll tell you that. I knew, one way or another, look, if I've got to make it up out, I'll make it up out with these bare hands.

- These punches from Kevin Lee starting to take their toll.

- It was after my first UFC fight. I had to make some changes. Packed up like a little baggie full of clothes, got in the car, kept on driving west until I hit something.

I ended up in Las Vegas. I loved it. And I just called, and I'm like, I'm not coming back. So y'all going to bring your ass down here. So they did the same thing.

She's got a nice house to live in. I just got myself a new house. So now it's much better. And I think I always kind of had that vision, even back then.

- It's a rough journey, but I'm so proud of him. He's always been the fighter. He's going to fight till he can't fight no more.

- These are the people that I'm taking years off my life for. I know that, with the amount of damage I'm putting on, I'm doing it for a reason. I wouldn't have been nothing without my parents support, really.

- I see the world champion right there.

- Yes, sir.

- That's what I think.

- UFC 216, October 7th, Ferguson vs. Lee.

- And I love this matchup because I'm really excited about Camden Lee.

- My emotions are--

- All over the place. All over the place. But look, I'll make sure-- I've got you. I've got you. Look, his momma is going to do a bit more crying than mine, I'll tell you that right now. I might make her nervous sometimes, but you know I hold [BLEEP].

- The Motown phenom!

- Kevin Lee, muting the masses tonight.

- It's been a rough. It's been some rough times. It's been some times where, I look in the mirror, and I don't even want to do it no more. And I had to get back up. I look at them, and I say, well, they still struggling. So, you know, just because I take a punch in the face, I'm going to make sure I give back, too. From growing up, not having nothing, like, we had nothing-- so we've got something now.