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UFC Fight Night 129: New Blood - Andrea ‘KGB’ Lee

Photo by Esther Lin for Invicta FC

After an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) pay-per-view (PPV) event with zero Octagon debutants, “New Blood” is back for UFC Fight Night 129, which features the promotion’s biggest non-The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) women’s Flyweight signing on the FOX Sports 1-televised main card. Before Demian Maia and Kamaru Usman lock horns and Alexa Grasso faces Tatiana Suarez to determine the women’s Strawweight division’s top prospect, let’s have a look at Invicta FC veteran and LFA Flyweight champion, Andrea “KGB” Lee.

Name: Andrea “KGB” Lee
Weight Class: Flyweight
Age: 29
Record: 8-2 (2 KO, 4 SUB)
Notable Victories: Rachael Ostovich, Ariel Beck

After an 8-2 amateur mixed martial arts (MMA) run and a 12-second win in her professional debut, Lee made the jump to Invicta FC, where she dismantled Shannon Sinn before losing a split decision to the exponentially more experienced Roxanne Modafferi. She split her time in LFA and Invicta, winning and defending the former’s Flyweight title, before answering UFC’s call.

She was actually supposed to debut at UFC 216 in Oct. 2017 against Kalindra Faria, but got pulled because of spending insufficient time in the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) testing pool.

I actually watched that Sinn fight as it happened, covering that card for Mania, and I remember being extremely impressed with her striking. I still am, honestly. Lee is an aggressive combination striker whose lead jab and left hook nicely set up the rest of her shots. She’s also got a solid left body kick and powerful clinch knees, making her a threat from all angles and ranges, and has some slick pivots to stay out of harm’s way when she’s not committed to an attack.

As you might have guessed from her four submission wins, she’s a legit threat on the mat, as well. Critically, she’s also willing and able to stand up when caught beneath strong top control artists rather than fruitlessly pursue submissions and lose minutes of the round.

Her wrestling, unfortunately, remains a prominent Achilles heel. It did her in against Roxy, did her in against Sarah D’Alelio in 2016, and nearly did her in against Liz Tracy two fights ago. Lee struggles offensively and defensively — she’s not egregiously bad, but it’s a chronic issue for her. She seems to have issues with winning the underhook battle in the clinch and her own takedowns aren’t great. Against Tracy, she basically tried to just shove her backward and wound up giving up an easy takedown in the third round, nearly costing her the fight.

Striking-wise, though, she has plenty of variety. She almost always leads with either a jab or a left hook. She’s generally good enough to get away with it, but that level of predictability could be exploited by crafty strikers like Valentina Shevchenko.

Opponent: Luckily for her, she won’t be fighting a wrestler. Instead, she gets Veronica Macedo, who had six months of professional MMA experience before getting tossed into the Octagon against Ashlee Evans-Smith. I imagine Macedo will do quite a bit better at 125 pounds, but her lack of any real takedowns and the issues she had with Evans-Smith’s pressure make this an extremely winnable fight for Lee.

Tape: Her Invicta FC bouts are on Fight Pass.

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