“I feel that this is a great match up for me.”
Interview by: AJ Hoffman (@ajhoffmanjr)
If you ask around Houston for the short list of the best stand up artists in the city of Houston, most people won’t get very far down their list before they get to the name of Lee King. The Paradigm coach/fighter faces his next test on Friday against the hulking Shawn Machado. We talked to Lee before his fight to see how his training camp is coming along, especially with the recent life news he has received.
King: Well I got started at Houston’s King boxing gym and trained San Shou, which is Chinese kickboxing, under Mike Altman. He is well known here in Houston and Cali. Then later on I started working with Saul Soliz. The main reason I started to compete was to get experience so I could look good in street fight, but I fell in love with the sport and never fought in the streets again.
TCD: I have heard some of the best fighters in the city give you credit for helping them with their striking game and many consider you one of the best stand-up coaches in Houston. Do you enjoy teaching as much as fighting?
King: I do appeciate all the credit I’ve received from everyone and I do love teaching just as much as competing. It’s less painful! But I do get lots of joy from those who do what we work on in training in competition.
TCD: You have been in the cage with some really great fighters, including Melvin Guillard, Carlo Prater, Roger Huerta, Sean Sherk and Edson Barboza. Looking back, who do you consider the best fighter you have faced?
King: It’s really hard to say. All those fighters are tough and have a bag full of tricks, but I would have to say Barboza because he’s undefeated in his young mma career.
TCD: You recently went through a rough streak, losing 4 straight fights over a two year span. How important was it for you to get this win at Legacy 8, especially in such dominant fashion?
TCD: What do you know about Shawn Machado, your opponent at Legacy 10? How do you feel like you match up with him?
King: I know Shawn is a tough guy and very strong. I give him props for stepping up and taking a fight with someone with more experience. I feel that this is a great match up for me AJ.
TCD: Everyone knows you are such a great striker. What do you do at Paradigm to ensure that the rest of your game keeps up with your hands and feet?
King: I have been doing lot of stength and conditioning with the Rev. Bart Stewart, sparring with those boys at Paradigm, taking wrestling classes with Coach Grant, slipping in a BJJ class with Igor Santos, and more stength and conditioning with Saul Soliz.
TCD: I also know that you are recently engaged, to a great girl by the way. Has leaving the bachelor lifestyle changed your perspective on things?
King: Yes, I’m engaged to a great girl. Thanks AJ, I will make sure she knows she’s talked about. Leaving the bachelor lifestyle has changed my out look on lots of things in my life in a real postive way. I feel I’m more focused than ever and have more goals that I want to accomplish. She really motivates me to be a better person for myself and my family.
TCD: Also, congrats on the impending fatherhood. I am expecting one as well, and my wife has told me to prepare myself for a little less time at the gym once the baby shows up. Is that the case in the King household?
King: Congrats on being as blessed as me AJ. Great to hear the news man, but when the baby gets here I will have my hands full. I will be spending lots of time with the baby. I want to be in my kid’s life, but martial arts, gyms and training are going to be in my life forever ’til I’m old and grey . That part of my lifestyle I dont ever see changing and will be passed on to the next generation.
TCD: Do you have anyone you want to thank before the fight?
King: I would like to thank all the guys at Paradigm and Metro for all the great training and encouragement. You guys are awsome! To Mick Maynard, fans, family, friends. Without you people fighters like myself would have a harder time to make a living. To all my sponsors and to my bride to be. You make me happy! I love you hon! Thanks AJ for this interview. Congrats again. It’s going to be a great show!
Legacy FC 10 takes place on Friday, February 24th. It can be seen LIVE on HDNet.