Reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela “Unstoppable” Lee was set to face “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan last November 2018 for the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title but had to withdraw due to an unfortunate disk injury.
Lee was looking forward to making history as the first female mixed martial arts athlete to hold two major World Titles in different weight classes simultaneously, when the aforementioned injury forced her to withdraw from the match.
The 22-year-old martial arts queen was ‘heartbroken’ at the lost time and effort she had put into training camp, and thought the chance had slipped through her fingers.
But when her bout with Xiong was rescheduled for 31 March at ONE Championship’s first ever live event in Tokyo, Japan dubbed ONE: A NEW ERA, Lee was ecstatic.
“I was heartbroken. I thought that I wouldn’t be able to have this opportunity again,” Lee said.
“I had my heart set on making history but unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances occurred. It was out of my control and instead I was faced with another test of patience.”
Now that Lee has her body sorted out and is at a hundred percent, things seem to be moving along quite nicely in her preparations. Furthermore, she is moving up a weight class to strawweight, which she says works in her favor.
Instead of focusing on the weight cut closer to the bout, Lee says she now has more resources to allocate towards improving her technique and skills.
“Sure, it’s a step up in what I’m used to, but it’s also closer to my natural weight. Moving up in weight has made me more dangerous than ever. Instead of worrying about my weight descent, I’ve had 100% focus on my fight and game plan,” said Lee.
“To be honest, I am very excited to be competing in the strawweight division.”
The upcoming bout is no doubt the most significant in her career. If she can overcome the challenge posed by Xiong, a much larger and stronger athlete who loves to finish people on the feet, an area of Lee’s game that is her perceived weakness, “Unstoppable” will make history.
The undefeated champion looks to add a second golden strap to her mantle where the atomweight title sits. In order to be successful, Lee must do what many others have failed to do against her Chinese opponent — and that is to defeat “The Panda” mentally.
“I’ll be looking to dominate in every area of the fight,” Lee concluded.
“I will use my skill and will to break Xiong Jing Nan and capture the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title.”