Andrea Lee (aka “KGB”, a moniker, given by her coach as he thought she resembled the looks and toughness of a Russian spy!), was born on February 11, 1989, to Cheryl and Kent Lee in Atlanta, Texas, USA.
The 32 year-old is a former Legacy Fighting Championships Flyweight champ, 6-time Invicta FC veteran and is among the fastest-rising female flyweights in the world.
Starting her career at the age of 20, her MMA ‘midas touch’ earned her all three Muay Thai Championships – IKF, WKA, and TBA in the same year (2014), along with a tally of countless regional MMA titles.
Previously, she worked as a waitress in a sports bar where she was constantly exposed to UFC events. “As my interest grew, I found a gym and trainer and never looked back”, Lee said in an exclusive interview with the UFC.
She is currently ranked no.11 in the UFC Women’s Flyweight rankings, and the 53rd Best Pound for Pound female MMA fighter.
Training out of Gladiators Academy in Louisiana, Lee holds a black belt in Kyokushin karate, and brown belts in both Judo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Relson Gracie. She signed a 6-match deal with the UFC heading into her bout with Joanne Calderwood in 2019, at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
She shared a light moment talking about her nickname “KGB”. “After I won the 2014 Muay Thai World Championship, the whole Russian team came up and took pictures with me. It was a great feeling and ‘KGB’ has since been my brand.”
Okay, so now that you have a bit of background into her career, let’s ‘spy’ on Andrea “KGB” Lee’s Top 5 MMA Finishes! (in descending order)
5. Vs. Kim Colbert – GFA 27 (Sept. 19, 2014)
This was Lee’s second appearance in the Louisiana Regional after defeating Amanda Fine in her debut match at the same event.
In round 1, Lee strides forward, like a rook on a chessboard, with her orthodox stance pointing towards a defensive-looking Kim.
Kim confronts with a left hook after which Lee rocks the back of Kim’s head with brutal, short-arm jabs at 50 seconds into round 1.
A short while later, things went to the mat, with KGB grabbing Kim’s arm to exact a bone-squeezing armbar. Kim flipped over to escape, albeit was not completely able to free herself from Lee’s grip.
Mounted over, Lee went in for the ground and pound leaving Kim disoriented. Pivoting on her feet, Lee turned her sideways, grabbed her left arm, and locked in another brutal armbar as Kim shrieked in pain.
Seeing enough of Colbert’s grief, the referee stepped in to call the bout at 2:29 of round 1, with Lee winning via armbar submission.
4. Vs. Antonina Shevchenko – UFC 262 (May 15, 2021)
Betting odds were slightly in favour of Kyrgyzstani fighter Shevchenko, (aka “La Pantera”) as she locked horns with Andrea in Texas.
At 1:20 into round 1, riding forward in her orthodox stance, Lee shifted position and smoked a combination of left-right punches upon her opponent. Pushed now into a corner of the octagon, Antonina used her free right hand and clobbered a couple of hefty blows upon KGB’s head.
At 3:20, a spinning right strike was countered by a high, KGB kick while she also blasted Antonina with a set of two lethal, left-arm jabs that set alarm bells ringing for “La Pantera”.
In round 2, at 10 seconds in, the crowd went bonkers as Lee grabbed her opponent’s left hand for a judo throw followed by executing a head lock. With KGB taking side control and mounting excessive pressure by brutally thrusting her elbows against her face, Shevchenko was now trapped with no way out – her right arm looking painfully bent underneath her thighs.
Andrea quickly transitions, taking Shevchenko into a triangle and delivers ruthless, brutal elbow strikes to her head. With the clock ticking, Lee snatches Shevchenko’s right hand and finishes off proceedings with a triangle armbar.
Referee, Jeff Rexroad, hurriedly intervened at 4:52 of round 2, and Lee won the match via her slick armbar submission.
This match was ranked 23rd Best MMA Submission of the Year 2021. In her post fight interview, Lee told Joe Rogan that she felt amazing winning in Texas and the $75K bonus was on her mind.
3. Vs. Jamie Thorton – LFA 23 (Sept. 22, 2017)
This co-main event was fought for the LFA Flyweight Championship. Andrea was set to defend her title against the challenger, Jamie Thorton in Louisiana, USA.
Andrea Lee in southpaw stance went streaming into the fight jockeying her head up, down and sideways. She pounced on Jamie with powerful, savage, left-right jabs at 45 seconds into round 1.
Thorton retaliated with a knee-to-body attack, with Lee now strangled in a clinch. Now this got Lee’s raging adrenaline rush going as she unleashed a frenzy of kicks to Jamie’s head and legs, keeping her guessing as to which way to defend.
With this full-throttle attack by Lee, and with 40 seconds to go in the first round, a brutal left hook followed by a powerful reverse kick to Jamie’s gut is performed in ‘picture perfect’ fashion. The horn sounds nullifying any further damage to Thorton…at least for now.
At 2:54 into round 2, Lee’s refined manoeuvrability becomes evident as she squeezes her opponent’s head between her thighs finishing the match with a kimura as referee Buddy Caskey intervenes to end the bout.
This match was ranked 88th Best MMA Submission of the Year, 2017.
3. Vs. Heather Bassett – LFA 4 (Feb. 17, 2017)
Andrea Lee was already the Legacy FC Flyweight Champion but had to win this match to become the LFA champion due to an alliance between Legacy FC and RFA (Resurrection Fighting Alliance).
In round 1, at 45 seconds in, Lee shelled Bassett (aka “Handguns”) with a ruthless barrage of left-right punches. Grabbing her head, Lee clinched Bassett, serving up hard-hitting knees leaving no room for “Handguns” to exit.
Lee unleashed an incoming tsunami of merciless blows, slamming Heather around the corner with dirty boxing, iron fists, hooks and jabs targeting her abs and face. Lee then slammed her to the ground, Bassett gasped for breath and by now, was literally shell-shocked.
Mounted over, at 3:45 into round 1, “KGB” assaulted her opponent’s face, and thrust countless heinous elbows upon her skull, leaving her with a golf ball-sized swelling just above her left eye. A bad nightmare was coming true for poor Bassett!
In round 2, after letting her scramble to her feet, Lee pile-drives Bassett to the canvas – a stunning moment – causing the crowd to roar at the unfolding spectacle.
In round 3, Andrea manages to get Bassett’s back, then grabs her neck and chokes her ferociously, with all her might. Seeing Bassett hung on the choke, Andrea snatches her left arm and applies her trademark slick armbar to finish the match at 3:40 of round 3 winning the LFA title.
It was one hell of a battle that won the applause of MMA fans around the world and was ranked 73rd Best MMA Submission of the Year 2017.
1. Ariel Beck – Legacy FC 49 (Dec. 4, 2015)
This match took place in the interestingly named ‘Bossier’ City, Louisiana!
Lee was back to her winning ways after her last fight, defeating Rachael Ostovich after a 9-month hiatus.
In round 1, Ariel Beck (aka “Sunshine”) came rushing forward in southpaw stance, with fists tightly loaded and set to taste first blood. Over-committed in her stride, however, her momentum takes her too close to Lee who boomerangs her with meaty a left hook.
Lee sprawls and moves her upper body neatly to her right, leaving her left foot planted sideways to Beck’s left leg, and like a tripwire, cripples her to the ground.
Taking side control, Lee delivers left hands to her opponent’s head, and whilst still enslaved in the clinch, Lee’s pulverizing knees keep on rocking Beck’s head.
Commentators were dumbfounded, to see Beck folded in half by Andrea, at 1:22 into round 1, saying, “This is crazy! How can she survive this?”. Pivoting on her feet, Lee mounted, and flipped over Beck with a tight armbar as the referee watched carefully on his heels to see if Beck would tap out. Was it the end?
Shockingly, Beck’s elbow was bent and twisted in the opposite direction. Obviously racked with pain, Beck nonetheless kept on scrambling until she got herself out of the deadlock. Miraculous! Lee soon then mounted over Beck throwing hammer fists on her ribs.
At 2:24 into round 2, Lee once again surreptitiously structured another severe kimura armbar that could’ve surely broken Beck’s arm and the crowd were on their feet, but again, Beck survived it.
Shortly after, Lee exacted seismic-scale elbows to Beck’s chin causing her body to flip instantly, after which Lee slithered around, wrapping her leg around her head, leading into another vicious armbar.
This final ‘death blow’ taxed Beck to the hilt and she finally tapped out at 4:22 of round 3, with referee Jared Baker stepping in to call the end, potentially saving her arm from becoming completely snapped in two!
Andrea KGB won via her famed armbar submission and was crowned the new Legacy Flyweight Champion. The match is ranked 80th Best MMA Submission of the Year, 2015.