Singapore may be small compared to surrounding countries in Asia, but the sporting talent to emerge from the city-state is impressive – especially in the world of mixed martial arts.
Over the years, combat sports fans have witnessed Singaporeans breaking records and winning World Titles at home and abroad.
With that said, here are five of the top MMA stars who were either born in Singapore or call the republic their adopted home.
#1 – Christian Lee
ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee was born in Vancouver, Canada, to a Korean mother and Chinese-Singaporean father, which has kept him tied to “The Lion City” over the years.
Not only does Lee have extended family in Singapore, but he often trains out of and teaches at Evolve MMA when he’s visiting the city-state.
Since the ONE Lightweight World Champion joined ONE Championship in 2015, he’s racked up 14 wins and maintains an over-90% finishing rate.
He became the ONE Lightweight World Champion after defeating Japanese mixed martial arts legend Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki in May 2019.
However, Lee showed his true World Champion spirit when he stepped in on short notice to face Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev in the finals of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Finals in 2019, where he dominated the Russian from start to finish.
Moreover, just this past October, he stopped undefeated Iuri Lapicus in the first round by TKO at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX.
#2 – Angela Lee
ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee is Christian’s older sister, and like her brother, she has strong ties to Singapore because of her Singaporean father, Ken Lee.
Since joining ONE in 2015, “Unstoppable” has dominated the women’s mixed martial arts atomweight division.
At atomweight, she’s beaten current ONE Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan and Japanese veteran Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi on two occasions – the first time earning the ONE Atomweight World Title.
Overall, Lee has secured 10 wins inside the ONE Circle and maintains an 80 percent finishing rate. Since no atomweight has been able to defeat her, Lee truly is “Unstoppable.”
#3 – Xiong Jing Nan
ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan was born in Shandong, China, but she moved to Singapore in 2020 to perfect her skills at Evolve MMA.
Xiong made her ONE debut in 2017, and shortly after her first fight, she defeated Tiffany “No Chill” Teo for the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title in January 2018.
Since then, Xiong has remained unbeaten at strawweight, taking out the likes of ONE Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, Gladiadores MMA Strawweight Champion Laura Balin, and Teo on a second occasion.
Having defeated the best of the division, it may be a long time before we see “The Panda” step down from her throne.
#4 – Amir Khan
Amir Khan was born and raised in Singapore and is currently tied with Christian Lee for most KO wins in ONE (9).
The homegrown sensation trains out of Evolve MMA and has produced a storied run in ONE Championship.
He started his journey in The Home of Martial Arts in 2014, and over the years he’s dominated the likes of former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario – finishing him by first-round rear-naked choke – and lightweight banger Ev “ET” Ting.
The Singaporean’s most recent win, however, came over Rahul “The Kerala Krusher” Raju, as Khan stopped the Indian icon by KO in the first round this past October.
#5 – Tiffany Teo
Coming in at #5 on our list is Tiffany “No Chill” Teo, another born-and-raised Singaporean mixed martial arts star.
Teo trains out of Team Highlight Reel, which, unsurprisingly, has helped her score a few highlight-reel wins. The most recent was a TKO finish of Ayaka Miura in February of this year.
However, the two-time former ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title challenger’s biggest accolade was defeating eight-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion Michelle Nicolini in November 2018.
Speaking of Singapore, ONE will air its next event – ONE: BIG BANG – live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium this Friday, 4 December.
Singaporeans can catch all the action on meWATCH or theONE Super Appat 8:30 p.m. Singapore Standard Time (SGT). Also, Channel 5 will cut-in live with the action at 10 p.m.
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