This weekend in New York, Henry Lee takes on Omar Ahmed at Friday Night Fights in a Muay Thai bout. We spoke with both Henry Lee and Omar Ahmed ahead of their fight this weekend. This interview with Lee is part one and part two will come on our partner site, MyMMANews.com. Don’t miss out on that!
Henry Lee not only competes in Muay Thai but kickboxing as well. His record is 7-3 with six wins by knockout. It is safe to say that he brings fireworks with him every time he steps in the ring. His beginnings in martial arts started as many others have. A friend brought over a UFC VHS tape.
“Funny thing is when I was younger, I was really competitive. I would be getting into street fights here and there. One night, my friend brought over a VHS tape of UFC 3 or something. Tank Abbott was demolishing people. I was like, ‘Holy crap! That’s what I want to do. So, during that time, it was maybe 15 years ago, there no MMA gyms around. I was Googling and I found a Muay Thai gym. I went over there and signed up and then I fell in love with Muay Thai. During that time I was a college kid, I was into it, but it wasn’t something I would do every day like now.”
“I just love stand up combat. It excites me.”
As for his upcoming fight on Friday Night Fights, it all just sort of happened. It was Lee’s love of fighting that got him in the position he was in. “For me, I just love fighting. I didn’t really to ask to be the main event or the title on this show. I told my coach, ‘It’s been a while since I’ve fought in New York.’ I was supposed to fight in a kickboxing tournament and the promoter couldn’t solidify a date. I was hoping to get a date and it was getting closer to October. I told them maybe in the future. So, I told my coach to find me a fight and this is what happened.”
The Muay Thai fight will be for the ISKA Muay Thai title. But Lee does not think that he or his opponent are worried about the title. He says, “I think we’re both focused on the fight instead of the title.”
Henry Lee’s Growth
Lee feels like he’s evolved as a fighter by leaps and bounds. “When I was an amateur I would bring the heat. It was all sloppy and I would want to knock everyone out because I had a Mike Tyson mentality. In the beginning it was good, people were falling down like bricks. Everyone started evolving and it was harder to knock people out. I started improving also. Now, I’m smarter than I was before. Now, I bring the heat only when the time is right.”
Lee has since learned from his wild, gunning ways. He’s slowed down and now reads what his opponent is bringing.
“I work with what the opponent does. If someone’s aggressive, I try to be aggressive back but a little smarter. I don’t want to throw something sloppy. If it comes down to it coming to a decision, I’ll just go for it. You don’t know if you’re going to win or lose, and if you’re losing you might as well just give it your all and throw everything out the window. Sometimes, that’s everything you need to do to get the win.”
Henry Lee prefers to focus on his strengths in his training camps instead of his opponents weaknesses. “Whatever my coach tells me to do, I’ll do it. Nothing specific,” says Lee. He is confident that the experience will be what shines through in his fight this weekend. “I think with the experience between me and Omar, we both know how to fight already. It just depends on who gets the better that night.”
Muay Thai to MMA?
Henry Lee doesn’t expect to make the transition from Muay Thai to MMA in his career. He’s content with stand up sports. “I’ve thought about it. Jiu jitsu is a ground game and it’s not really for me. I’ve done jiu jitsu for a year and I loved it, but it wasn’t really for me,” says Lee.
This doesn’t mean you won’t see him in a mixed martial arts promotion. He continues, “There are promotions like ONE Championship and in Thailand, there is Muay Xtreme. They all wear MMA gloves and stand up. That’s kind of what I want to get into soon.”
Seriously, Muay Xtreme is loads of fun and they encourage maximum violence. Something you have to check out for yourself.
Chatri, you seriously have to pay attention here. This part is for you: “ONE Championship is one of my goals I really want to get into. I’m going back to Thailand early December. I’m going to get some fights on Muay Xtreme. There is just basically Muay Thai with MMA gloves and hopefully build my name a little more and hopefully catch the eyes of someone at ONE Championship.” In other words, it won’t be long after this weekend and we will be able to see Henry Lee competing again.
Henry Lee vs. Omar Ahmed
As for predicting his fight, Henry Lee remained mum about how he’d win. He wants to go out and give fans something to be excited for; a great fight.
“Anything can happen. That’s what makes me the better fighter. Every other fighter will tell you, ‘I’m going to knock them out in round three or two.’ Me, I’m just going to go in there and do my thing. I’m not the type of guy that’s going to be salty when I lose. I am just doing this for the experience. I love the sport and I want the sport of Muay Thai to grow in the United States. Whatever happens on Friday happens, win or lose, I’m always happy.”
Check out Henry Lee from ATT Phucket’s full fight below!
Be sure to follow Henry Lee on Instagram to keep up to date with all his fight news.
Want to listen to the entire podcast episode? Listen below!