Chris Lee Byrne working to secure first bout of 2021 amidst pandemic troubles

Chris Lee Byrne
Chris Lee Byrne following his win at Prospect FC 11. (Credit: Prospect FC)

Chris Lee Byrne (4-1) was set to take on Drayton Angus in the middleweight main event of MFL Fight Island 1. Unfortunately, in lieu of recent travel restrictions in Canada, that will no longer be the case.

Montreal Fight League was to have become Mexican Fight League as MFL looked to take over Cancun, Mexico on Feb. 27th.

Byrne, 34, was fielding through a myriad of fight offers across multiple divisions before he signed that MFL contract.

“I’ve been trying to get a fight for the last few months. Since COVID hit, I had to kind of stop training quite a bit. My gym’s closed off right now because of the lockdown,” said Byrne in an interview with MMA Empire.

“Just kind of doing my own thing at home and stuff like that, so I was trying to contact BFL and Rise. Rise offered me a title fight at heavyweight, but I kind of want to stay out of that weight class. I’m super small there.”

With the backdrop of the MFL postponement, London, Ont.’s Byrne is now redirecting focus to a Rise FC bout in March with no specifics on a weight class or an opponent as of this writing.

Byrne has historically worked with individuals like Joel Paquette and Chris Clements, but the pandemic has forced some pivots in the methodology, as is the case for many.

“My (boxing) coach, Steven Molitor, everyone knows him. My Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach Josh Russell in Calgary. Chris Clements is my head cornerman and kickboxing/ MMA coach. Yeah, I’m always trying to work with them. A lot less now since COVID and now the second lockdown,” said Byrne.

“Always working with my boys Nate Ledger, Forrest Ayers, Seth Connor, Rafael Palomeque. We’re always getting in work right now. But, you know, the second lockdown is messing it up, so I’ve been training with everyone a lot less. The only people I really see right now is Nate and Forrest.”

Chris Lee Byrne goes to work on the ground against Scott Lamont at PFC 11. (Photo by Mark Ruddick)

With the grouping fragmented nowadays, the Munda Jiu-Jitsu collective was supposed to have been noticeable all throughout that now scrapped MFL card.

“Forrest is preparing also. He’s going to be on the MFL card making his pro debut against a 3-0 opponent at 145. My man Skylar (Synesael), who’s a heavyweight on my team, he’s 1-1 and he’s going to be fighting Jeff Fuchs. Fuchs asked for him because his opponent flopped. He asked and he shall receive,” said Byrne.

“We’re just going to roll up and do a wild boy style how Munda always does. It’s a small promotion, so we’re not expecting a bunch of corners to be flown out or anything. We’re just going to go. Me, Skylar, and Forrest, we’re going to roll-up, we’re going to fight, we’re going to fly home, and corner each other.”

Navigating his next prizefight and a possible new management opportunity in the future seem to also serve as moments of relief for Byrne who came off of a tumultuous 2020.

“Honestly, 2020 was like probably the worst year of my life. I went through a lot of personal issues, a lot of family issues, relationship issues, business issues, health issues. Basically couldn’t have been worse for me. Some very public stuff you know,” said Byrne.

“But as things progressed, everything worked out. I’m doing better now and it seems that 2021 is off to a great start. I’ve been getting nothing but great news. MTK Global contacted me too.”

Byrne’s Shoutouts

“Thanks to my Sponsors Hempire London, Lost Soul Art Supply, LiveFit Foods, Flow X, King Faisal, Black Diamond Bar & Grill, Ram Specialized Logistics, Top Crew Barber Shop, The Solar Store, Kulture Canna, Royal Canadian Garden Supply, My team Munda Jiu-Jitsu. And of course Elisa’s shout out I keep promising her.” Follow Byrne on social media: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM

You can check out my full conversation with Byrne right here.