Records are important but brands are everything these days. When you need to introduce yourself to millions of people, you need a catchy moniker, which is why Andrea “KGB” Lee (13-5 MMA, 5-3 UFC) has announced plans to retire her old nickname and move up the UFC women’s flyweight division rankings with a less controversial one: “IRA”.
Speaking to MMAFPress exclusively, Lee, 32, explained: “’It’s like this, y’all … my ex-husband and former coach gave me the ‘KGB’ nickname, because he thought I looked like a ruthless Russian assassin. Sure, he was kind of a prison neo-Nazi, but it was never about trying to voice a political statement or anything. My perspective has always been that it stands for ‘Kickin’ Girls Butts’. I keep all of my personal opinions, like how coronavirus was created by the government to turn us into lizard people, on Instagram to avoid offending sensitive a** mofos.”
“I think the nickname is a very spiritual thing, so I take that to heart. Your ring name should be heavily connected to you as a person and the journey you’ve taken to get to whatever level of the game you’re at, at that point.”
“With Russia currently invading Ukraine, my sports management team has advised me that it is time to drop the “KGB”. From a marketing perspective, wearing a Stetson hat, shorts emblazoned with a hammer and sickle and being nicknamed after the Soviet secret police is a nightmare. So, I’ve decided to pick a new nickname, something completely inoffensive and unproblematic so I can focus on what happens in the Octagon.
“My great-great-grandfather was a true Southern gentleman whose name was Ira. So, in his honour, I’ll be fighting as Andrea “IRA” Lee from now on”.
Lee is scheduled to face Viviane Araujo on May 14, 2022 at UFC Fight Night 209 and expects the fight to be “explosive”.