ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela “Unstoppable” Lee begins her climb back up the strawweight division ladder at ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY. The 22-year-old is set to face IBJJF Hall of Famer Michelle Nicolini in the co-main event of the evening at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Singaporean superstar is fixated in her quest to become the first female athlete in ONE Championship to hold two world titles in as many divisions. Lee’s effort to strip Xiong Jing Nan of her golden strap at ONE: A NEW ERA last March failed as she was unable to overcome Xiong’s clean and crisp striking.
But despite the new challenges she faces at strawweight, Lee maintains that she’s not leaving atomweight behind. In fact, she’s comfortable taking on both divisions.
“I wanted to stay active and taking fights at strawweight and atomweight allows me to do so,” Lee said.
While moving up and down in weight may be difficult for some, Lee says she’s got it all covered.
“No, I don’t see any issues,” Lee said.
“My team and I are making the adjustments needed. I believe what’s most important is staying healthy throughout the entire process while still doing what is needed to be successful in both divisions.
“It’s a tough cut for me to get down to 115 but I’ve managed to do so and I’ve had 3 great title defenses. Strawweight is my natural division and I don’t feel a disadvantage whatsoever when I compete against other female fighters in that division.”
Nicolini, an eight-time BJJ World Champion, will be the first to prevent Lee from reaching the top since her bout with Xiong. The Brazilian currently holds a record of 5-2, wherein all of her victories have resulted in submissions.
This doesn’t seem to be troubling Lee, as she feels confident her well-rounded skills will bring her victory.
“She’s a highly decorated BJJ world champion and she can be a threat on the ground,” Lee said.
“However, I am confident in my skill set and I believe I have what it takes to put Nicolini away.
I say that she hasn’t fought anyone decent yet. Let’s wait and see how July 12 plays out.”
Well what about the atomweight division? Lee has no plans of vacating the title. In fact, she welcomes every challenge, no matter who ONE Championship lines her up against.
“I will defend it against whoever is next in line,” Lee concluded.
“I’m just not quite sure who that is at the moment. I’m staying ready and keeping an eye out for the top contenders in the atomweight division.”
Those wondering how long Lee plans to stay at strawweight may not have to wonder any longer. The Singaporean says she has found a permanent home.
“Until I become Champion, and then probably for the rest of my fighting career,” Lee said.
“I’m more motivated now than ever. I want to make sure that this upcoming match will be one of my best performances.”