UFC flyweight Andrea Lee, whose husband, Donny Aaron, was jailed after allegedly attacking her in 2018, has written a gushing public message to her new love – promotion newcomer Tony Kelley – alongside a photo of the pair kissing.
Lee, whose former husband and trainer is said to have given the fighter her nickname because of looks that made her resemble a “Russian spy”, was at the center of troubling reports before Aaron was incarcerated last year after going on the run.
The 31-year-old now appears to be smitten with Tony Kelley, a featherweight who lost by a unanimous decision on his UFC debut in August before winning by the same outcome on his second outing, in October.
“Happy birthday, babe,” the hugely popular Lee announced to her following of more than 142,000 on Instagram, accompanying her tribute with a photo of the couple smooching in training gear on a street.
“I can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store for you. I see how hard you work and how determined you are and I’ve always believed you belong in the UFC. I look forward to seeing your rise.”
Lee has found happiness after a turbulent period in her life, including accounts that said the starlet and her then-housemate, MMA fighter Andy Nyugen, had told police that Aaron had tried to burn her with a cigarette and choke her as part of an argument following UFC 227 in August 2018.
Lee endured minor injuries in the alleged incident, and Aaron was later charged with domestic violence or battery and false imprisonment before police were forced to ask the public for help in finding him, suggesting that he may have gone to an MMA gym.
The former Legacy Fighting Alliance champion also became embroiled in controversy when she apologized to fans for Aaron’s Nazi tattoos, telling her supporters that he had been given them in prison and had changed his ways.
As he turned 34, “Primetime” Kelley thanked Lee for his success, having hit back from the defeat that was only the second of his nine-fight career to date.
“You motivate me to live up to my potential,” he told her. “I’m very grateful to have you in my life.
“Thank you for being who you are. 2021 ain’t just going to be my year. Let’s go.”
Lee has shared glimpses of herself in tough training recently as she looks to end a sequence of three straight UFC decision defeats, most recently losing to Roxanne Modafferi to continue a run that began against Joanne Calderwood on the undercard of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s victory over Dustin Poirier in 2019.
When she hasn’t been sparring, Lee has been indulging her love of guns. “Had a blast blowing sh*t up today,” she wrote earlier this week, adding a clip in which she grinned while firing a weapon at mannequins in Nevada.