Jason Lee (Photo courtesy of Ring of Fire)
Having already won two professional fights heading into the April 16 Ring of Fire show, 2010 ATO Amateur of the Year fighter Jason “Dragon” Lee stands on the precipice of becoming one of Colorado’s premier up-and-coming fighters.
Having overcome a troubled past, Lee quickly became a standout student at Nate Marquardt’s High Altitude gym and then had an opportunity to join the area’s premier fight squad.
“I was lucky enough even very early in my amateur career to be part of Grudge Fight Team,” he told MMAWeekly.com. “Obviously there have been a lot of hard lessons learned up there, but it’s been good for me now that I’m a pro and everything.
“There’s never a time that I don’t really shake my head in awe about how much more I have to learn about the fight game. It’s always worth it for me to take lumps and lumps and lumps day in and day out so I can learn lessons, so I can go out and perform properly in the cage when the important time comes.”
Lee not only credits his training as a large part of his success, but also failure has played its role in shaping him as a fighter.
“I wouldn’t be where I’m at if it wasn’t for the one loss I took during my amateur career,” he admitted. “I took about six or eight months off after that, and wasn’t really sure if I wanted to continue fighting or where I wanted to go.
“After I collected my thoughts, I took off running and I haven’t lost since then.”
Interestingly enough, when asked how he describes the way he fights, he harkens back to his days in bodybuilding for inspiration.
“Coming from the fitness industry, you want everything to be pretty equal and symmetrical,” he commented. “In my fighting style, I like to keep things very even.”
At Ring of Fire 40, Lee will have an opportunity to showcase his balanced skills against late replacement Coltin Cole from Matt Hughes’ HIT Squad.
“I always go out there with a goal to put on the most dynamic, entertaining, and athletic performance I can,” said Lee.
“I want to put it all out on the line. I’m looking to keep the pace, keep the pressure on him, stay in his face and let him know that oxygen is kind of hard to come by up here in the Mile High City, so I hope his conditioning is up to par.”
Having captured numerous amateur titles, Lee’s next goal is to branch out in 2011 and establish himself on a larger scale.
“The coaching staff at Grudge has given me the green light, so there’s nothing really holding me back,” he stated. “Really what I’m looking to see throughout this next year is getting some more national exposure.”
Making the transition from amateur to pro is never an easy one, but Lee has taken the necessary steps to make it as smooth as possible and take the skills he’s learned and continue down the path towards stardom.
“I always like to say thanks to my sponsors and my family, especially my father and my son,” he said in closing. “April 16 is not going to be a fight you’re going to want to miss. I hope to see everybody there.”
Ring of Fire 40 takes place Saturday night at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colo., just outside of Denver.