SINGAPORE – She may not have played in the ring for almost two years, but mixed martial arts (MMA) star Angela Lee has lost none of the passion that made her the youngest champion of the MMA world in 2016.
After getting married in 2020 and giving birth in April this year, the 25-year-old is training hard to make her comeback in February next year as she must defend her female atomweight ONE title. Championship against the winner of the Grand Prize Competition in her division.
And during a virtual media session Thursday, September 8 with her siblings Christian and Victoria – who will both fight at the ONE: Revolution event at Singapore Indoor Stadium on September 24 – Elder Lee fiercely defended the decision not to quit his title during his absence from the MMA ring.
“I think this (ONE Championship GM) Chatri (Sityodtong) kind of made a statement for everyone. I worked so hard to get to the position I am in, and just because I got pregnant. and i want to have a baby, doesn’t mean i should be stripped of my title, ”she said in response to a Filipino reporter who accused her of taking“ two years of vacation ”.
“I know how hard I worked for this and I’m not going to have this taken away.”
Angela’s last fight for the ONE Championship came in October 2019 when she defeated China’s Xiong Jingnan by submission at the ONE: Century event in Tokyo to retain her atomic weight title. It ended a two-fight losing streak for the Canadian-American – who fights under Singaporean Evolve MMA – and improved her career win-loss record to 10-2.
She tells her atomic weight rivals Stamp Fairtex from Thailand and Rita Phogat from India to be the Grand Prix finalists, and trains hard to regain her sharpness in the ring despite having to take care of her baby. the same time.
“Motherhood is amazing. It has definitely changed me. It’s a different training now, I absolutely have to plan things well in advance. Everything has to be flexible because of the baby,” she said.
“I have started training again alongside my brother and sister as they prepare for their fights. After the September event, we are going to step up a gear and start my fight camp. I’m very excited about it. I think fighting in February is going to be great for me. It will give me even more time to come back even stronger. “
Plans to set up a division for Angela and Christian Lee
One thing’s for sure for Angela: after battling the Grand Prix winner in February, she’ll go from a weight division to strawweight and challenge the champion – something she didn’t achieve when she lost to Xiong in 2019, his first career loss in MMA. .
One of the main reasons for his move is to make way for his younger sister Victoria, who is also in the atomic weight division and won her first two fights of her young career this year. The two Lees have previously stated that they will never fight in the MMA ring.
Victoria will face Brazilian Victoria Souza at ONE: Revolution in search of her third straight career victory, and although she feels more comfortable with the demands of being an MMA fighter than when she did her first steps. debuting in February, she takes her formidable opponent lightly.
“She’s 5-0 and I think it will be an exciting game because we are both finishers and I don’t think it will go all the way,” she said. “I plan to finish it in the first round.”
His older brother Christian, 23, will defend his men’s ONE Championship lightweight title against South Korean Ok Rae-yon at the same event, and hope to continue his winning streak after successful defenses against Moldovan Iuri Lapicus and Russian Timofey Nastyukhin.
Like Angela, he plans to eventually move to the welterweight division and become a two-division champion. However, he said he would delay those plans if former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez qualified for the lightweight title.
The 37-year-old American has struggled since joining ONE Championship, winning once and losing twice, but recently targeted verbal spikes against Christian, claiming his rival is “well protected” by ONE.
In response, Christian said, “Eddie Alvarez was a big name coming out of the UFC. When ONE Championship signed him he had a lot of traction behind him. But since then he hasn’t done enough to build himself up. a race- to the title.
“I’m still waiting for Eddie to win a few fights and then we can go head to head. For now, I’m very happy to face Ok, and I feel like he’s the only worthy contender right now. . “
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