Having faced multiple cancellations and opponent changes in 2020, it almost appeared as if welterweight Bobby Lee might not get a chance to fight this year, but thankfully he was able to compete when he took on Mike Hill for the Cage Fury FC 170-pound championship this past September.
Lee was able to overcome the loss of original opponent, Jeremiah Webb, and come out with a unanimous decision win over Hill to add another title to his collection.
“I was left without an opponent for two weeks to go, so there was a moment when I didn’t know if things were going to work out, but Mike Hill stepped up so it worked out,” Lee told MMAWeekly.com.
“I fought the 20 minutes and I felt stronger in the last five than I did the first five. It felt really good to compete and get that time in the cage.”
Having been just under a year since his previous fight, Lee feels like he was able to showcase some of the growth he’s made as a fighter over the past year.
“Most people will say that 2020 absolutely sucked, but honestly it hasn’t been a bad year for my martial arts growth,” said Lee.
“I upgraded in my Muay Thai. There’s a bit of a ranking system as far as in the gym to see guys’ progression, and my coach moved me up to red rank, which to me is advanced striking. On the mats Brock (Larson) gave me my brown belt. I feel like I’ve leveled up on all fronts this year.”
On Thursday in Uncasville, Conn., Lee (12-4) makes his long-delayed promotional debut when he faces Joey Davis (7-0) in a main card 170-pound bout at Bellator 253.
“Joey Davis has a phenomenal wrestling pedigree,” Lee said. “He went undefeated in college wrestling, so all to respect to him for doing that. Joey Davis looks like a very good opponent. He’s probably the toughest opponent I have faced, but I feel he can say the exact same thing about me.
“I feel like my striking is better than anyone’s he has faced. I am the most experienced opponent he has faced and highest level of competition. I’m expecting to have a very tough fight where I’m expecting to fight and claw for every inch that I get. I’m expecting to make it a very gritty and very nasty fight.”
While there are some things that Lee is looking forward to in the coming year, he approaches his career opportunities as they present themselves and nothing beyond that.
“One fight at a time, one day at a time, and not look past anyone,” said Lee. “Joey Davis is a stiff test, but I feel like I’m getting this test at the right time in my career. I’ve had some losses on my record and I’ve learned from those losses.
“Those lessons will come into play on Thursday night. He has not had the benefit of losses like that, where he’s had to rebuild and come back. He has not faced adversity and battled back like I have. I’m here, I’m ready to go, and show what the world I’m made of.”
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