ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee cannot wait to get back to form in The Home Of Martial Arts.
On Friday, 12 July, she will lock horns with Michelle Nicolini at ONE: Masters Of Destiny in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Lee’s anticipated return to competition against the multi-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion will take place in the strawweight division, which is familiar territory for the Singaporean.
The 22-year-old is confidently up for the challenge, and she is looking forward to competing more frequently.
“I was really happy to get another fight after the March one. I didn’t take any damage in that last fight – just a couple of bruises here and there,” the mixed martial arts star begins.
“I just wanted to stay busy and shake it off. My last fight, it was over a year since I fought in the cage, and I just felt like I needed to jump back in there and dust myself off again.”
A victory inside the Axiata Arena would give Lee added momentum before her next World Title defense.
A BJJ black belt herself, “Unstoppable” possesses all the necessary tools to counter the dangers of Nicolini’s jiu-jitsu prowess.
“I’m confident that I can neutralize her ground game and take it to where I’m strong. We have different styles on the ground. I know where she’s a threat, and I know where I’m a threat as well,” she explains.
“I think it’s just about being smart, and it’s not an ego thing. I’m not trying to beat her at her own game. I’m just trying to win the fight.”
Training out of Evolve MMA in Singapore and United MMA in Hawaii, Lee has continued to upgrade her skills — especially in the stand-up game, where she believes she has the edge over Nicolini.
“Obviously, Michelle is a specialist in jiu-jitsu, but I don’t think she’s had enough time to develop the rest of the areas in mixed martial arts. Of course, my team and I are preparing for what she specializes in, and we’re ready to deal with that, but we’re also ready to make this a mixed martial arts fight,” she says.
“We’ve been working on my striking, and rounding off that part of the game. I think [my performance] is going to show. I know I’m far from a perfect fighter. There’s so much learning to be done still, and I’m going to step into that ring [like it is] the first time, and I think I’m going to be a fighter with a new purpose and a new drive.”
The last time Lee competed, she valiantly challenged ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan for the coveted belt. She came close to defeating the Chinese hero for the gold, but fell just short of capturing her second World Championship in the fifth and final round.
Since that clash, the Singaporean has found renewed purpose in her pursuit to be a more well-rounded martial artist.
“I know looking back at that fight that I need to make adjustments, and that’s what I’m willing to do. I’m going back to my gym, going back to my family, and just being completely honest about what we need to adjust, what we need to work on – things that we didn’t address going into that fight,” she explains.
“We’re definitely making adjustments in my game plan and working on my cardio in different ways – just being smarter about it and working with what I’ve got.”
Although Lee is fully prepared to defend her atomweight crown at some point later this year, she still has an eye on “The Panda.”
The Singaporean wants to avenge her only career loss, regardless of the division.
“I think there is unfinished business there. There were talks about her coming down to atomweight. I know I definitely want a redemption fight,” Lee states.
“I know I’m going to get around to Xiong eventually, whether it’s this year or the next.”