Andrea Lee is preparing to make her return to action next month, in what can only be described as uncertain times.
Lee (11-4) is set to face Roxanne Modafferi, a rematch of the pair’s 2014 fight in Invicta FC. It was just the third fight of “KGB” Lee’s career. It also turned out to be her first loss.
As she prepares for the fight on September 12, Lee is faced with the prospect of a second shutdown due to the coronavirus. She’s not certain if her gym will be able to remain open. “I don’t know. I’m not confident about anything these days,” she told Cageside Press recently. “It seems like everything can be up in the air. Things were getting back to normal, it felt like. But then our state, we live in Louisiana, they just made it mandatory that everyone has the wear masks in and out of buildings and stuff. I know that’s the way it is in most places, but here in Louisiana, people who didn’t want to wear masks weren’t wearing masks.”
“I don’t know where things are going to be in the next couple weeks. I’m hoping the gym is allowed to stay open,” she continued.
That said, “KGB” is confident that camp will continue regardless. “If they end up closing the gyms down, I’m sure that we’ll still be able to get it in,” said Lee, suggesting at least a few of her teammates would carry on. “I’m not going to stop and quit my training. We’ll just have to open [the gym] up for a select few if that happens.”
Looking back on her first fight with Modafferi, Lee isn’t about to use her inexperience at the time as an excuse. “I felt like I was in a great position, even it being so many years back. I felt great where I was as an MMA fighter, and I feel even better about where I am now today.”
As Lee pointed out, as an amateur, she could fight as often as she wanted, both in MMA and other disciplines. “The only issue with that fight was that I suffered a rupture [to her ear drum].” While cutting weight, some light training with her coach turned into a harder sparring session, which resulted in her coach clipping her. Which led to an ear infection after that. “My head felt like I had some sort of head cold, and a fever. It really sucked. Looking back I have to think about that. Man, what if? I ended up losing a close decision. Maybe had I not been injured, maybe I could have gotten the win. Maybe still Roxanne would have won. Who knows? It’s always those ‘what ifs?'”
“Now we get to run it back, and I’m excited about that,” Lee added. And this time, she won’t have hearing loss to contend with. Although the injury nags her to this day. “If you’ve never had your ear drum ruptured, you wouldn’t understand, but it did play a big part especially in my balance. Now, when I do drills, I get dizzy so easily.”
Given their first fight was in 2014, both Lee and Modafferi have grown significantly as fighters, of course. “I’ve seen Roxy improve a ton since she’s moved to Syndicate [MMA]. With every fight she’s always underestimated. I’ve seen her grow, she’s very smart on her feet. Her style is very odd, but she’s very good at being strategic,” observed Lee.
However, she added, “I feel like I’ve learned enough to go in there and be able to finish this fight and get the win.” All that said, Lee isn’t thinking about revenge. This second fight is “just business.”
Lee and Modafferi are also both coming off losses to the surging Lauren Murphy. Outcomes can be fickle, however. “It depends on if you bring your A-Game that night. You can have a great camp but if you don’t show up for the fight, it might not be your night.”
One thing that cannot be overlooked is that the popular flyweight is entering this fight off two straight losses, to Joanne Calderwood and the aforementioned Murphy.
“That’s always in the back of my head. I don’t want to have three losses on my record, three losses back-to-back,” Lee admitted. “So I’m going to do all that I can to get this win. That’s why I expect this fight to be exciting, because I’m going in there balls to the wall. And I’m going to try to bring it.”