I recently had a chat with Lee whilst he was out at MjolnirMMA in Iceland with training partner Tom Breese, where we discussed his recent victory over Tom Mearns at Cage Warriors 92, his thoughts on the ever improving UK MMA scene and his plans to win the Cage Warriors belt before the year is out. Here’s what he had to say:
We are now a few weeks removed from your fight with Tom Mearns at Cage Warriors 92, have you watched the fight back and did it play out as you expected?
Yes the fight with Mearns went very much how I expected, I thought he would look to tie up and look for the takedown and I would out strike him he would not be able to take me down. He was very tough and I thought I’d be able to put him out but other than that it went how I expected.
Were you nervous at all when it went to the judges scorecard?
No I was not nervous at all, I knew I had convincingly won the first 2 rounds and the third was close I arguably won that too. He had a big crowd who made a lot of noise but I dominated.
The victory over Mearns puts you back in the win column following a loss to Donovan Desmae back in November, what did you learn following that defeat?
I learned how important decision making is in a fight. The fight was also my debut and only fight at lightweight and was originally set at a catchweight, but I take the lessons from the fight and bring that into future fights.
What is next for you? Do you have a fight lined up?
What are your plans going forward? Is your goal the UFC?
The UFC is definitely one of my goals, but I am only 22 and with 8 professional fights 6 of them on Europe’s biggest promotion I can achieve much more.
You are currently out in Iceland training at Mjolnir MMA with the likes of Gunnar Nelson, how does this compare to training back in Birmingham? And is visiting different gyms something you will look to do regularly?
I am really enjoying training out here in Iceland. It is good to gain different perspectives and different feels on things. I’m only going to get better testing my skills with high level fighters and learning from them. I also went to train at Tristar gym in Montreal which was also a very good experience where I learned a lot, I will definitely continue to train at different places to test my skills and gain different feels and perspectives on things. My training at home could not be better, I work with specialists in every field. My Thai/kickboxing with Damien Trainor, my Boxing with Paul Gough and Priory Park ABC and my grappling with Chiu Kwong Man and Tom Breese at Renegade Jiu Jitsu. I believe we have one of the best teams in the world on Birmingham, with Tom Breese and Leon Edwards in the UFC, along with a lot of us to be joining them soon I could not be happier with my training at home.
What are your thoughts on the UK MMA scene at present, and in particular the ever growing impressive list of fighters coming out of Birmingham?
I believe UKMMA is only getting better as more of us get into the top tier of the sport and do well. I also believe that Birmingham is really breaking through now, over the next year you will see big things from our fighters in the UFC, Cage Warriors, BAMMA, and ACB.
How did you get involved in MMA to begin with?
I was kickboxing from a very young age. I was competing regularly from around 13/14 years old and got into MMA from there. I had my first amateur MMA fight at 16.
As well as competing in MMA I know you also teach a lot of classes, how does that side of it compare for you?
I enjoy teaching, I enjoy passing on skills and helping people learn the same way people have helped me from a young age. I also feel you learn a lot from teaching, correcting mistakes and going over techniques.
What does a typical day in the life of Aiden Lee look like?
A typical day for me starts with a grappling or MMA training at Renegade. I then either do some PTs or rest before my next session, I am usually striking most evenings either Thai at Kstar Legacy, Boxing at Priory Park ABC or I’ll get getting a striking session in at Renegade. Every other day there will be a strength session in there too!
If you could compete against any fighter past or present, who would it be and why?