So far, 2017 is turning out to be a stark contrast to 2016 for flyweight Andrea Lee.
Coming off the second loss of her career, against Sarah D’Alelio at Invicta FC 16 in March, Lee was suspended for a positive test of illegal substances and missed the rest of 2016. Since then, Lee has come back strong with a first round TKO of Jenny Liou at Invicta 21 this January.
“Last year sucked for me, I had the one loss and then I was out for nine, 10, months, and wasn’t able to stay active as I wanted to,” Lee told MMAWeekly.com. “I was able to get onto the Invicta card and fight Jenny Liou, and that fight went exactly the way that I had trained for it.
“We had practiced shutting her down, keeping it standing, and every time she would shoot, push her back and get right back on her. The game plan was a success, and I was able to finish her in 74 seconds. It ended up being exactly what I hoped for in my comeback fight.”
During her time off, Lee remained as active as she could in the gym, and feels she has developed a whole new game for her return.
“I have seen a lot of change in my fighting since I’ve had time off,” said Lee. “We’ve been training non-stop; I haven’t taken any time off or had a vacation really.
“We just focused on coming back and being a completely different fighter. Just being more aggressive and going for the kill type of fighter. I’ve had that killer instinct, but I haven’t show that in many of my fights, but I feel I showed that my last fight, and will show it more in my upcoming fights.”
Lee (5-2) will look to pick up her second win of 2017 when she takes on Heather Bassett (4-2) for the vacant Legacy Fighting Alliance 125-pound championship Friday night in Bossier City, La.
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“She’s a tough opponent, and I know she’s going to go in there and try to take my head off with a bunch of wild shots, or she’s going to shoot in and try to take me down and go for the submission,” Lee said of Bassett. “I’ve seen her do that in a couple of her fights.
“She’s also landed a nice clean head kick knockout, so I have to watch out for that as well. I feel confident either way the fight goes, but I prefer it to stay on the feet, because I want to get a finish on the feet.”
For Lee, a championship is a big accomplishment and will be a great next step as she looks to further her comeback in 2017.
“It’s not that I’m just out to win fights and make money or get belts, but I want to be known as the best in the world,” said Lee. “I want to be the next LFA flyweight champion, that’s one of the current goals I want, so it means a lot to me.
“The overall goal is to win as many fights as I can and hopefully they’ll open up that 125-pound spot in the UFC. If I don’t get called to the UFC, I’m completely happy competing with the LFA and Invicta; they both treat me so well. Currently I’m very happy.”