ONE Championship atomweight titleholder Angela Lee has her eye on making mixed martial arts history.
Lee (9-0) has already established herself as one of the best fighters at 115 pounds on the planet. With three straight title defenses, the woman known as “Unstoppable” is rapidly running out of worthy competition on the ONE roster.
Her solution? Jump up to 125 pounds and challenge reigning strawweight champion Jingnan Xiong (13-1) for her second title in a match which will be contested on Nov. 9 in Singapore.
“I can’t wait to make history again, this time by being the first female two-division champion,” Lee told reporters on a recent ONE Championship media call. “I have lot of respect for Xiong. I think she is a heavy hitter and, as a world champion, I think she’s working hard to round off the rest of her game. Our styles are a great match for each other. We’re both very aggressive.
“So for sure there will be fireworks at the Singapore Indoor Stadium,” Lee continued. “It’s probably going to the one of the best fights of the night. Like all of my fights, I’m going to be looking for a devastating finish. I want to make a statement in the strawweight division.”
As for how the added weight will play a factor in her preparation, Lee revealed it’s actually been beneficial to train without the thought of her weight in the back of her mind.
“Usually I have to start my diet and weight descent like 10 weeks outside [of the fight],” said Lee. “This fight is so different because I’m feeling so strong, so healthy. I’m just a couple pounds away from my fight weight and instead of wasting hours and miles on the treadmill, I’m using that time to sharpen my techniques and drill more, get more rounds in, and it’s just all-around so much better. I think you guys are going to see the best of me on fight night.”
Despite her undefeated record, ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong has openly declared Lee the “heavy underdog” entering her fight against Xiong and even questioned why she was pursing a second title in a different weight class.
For Lee, her legacy demands the challenge.
“I’ve never been a person to just be comfortable with where I’m at,” said Lee. “This is about my legacy. I want to be known as one of the baddest female fighters of my time, of this era. I see this as a great opportunity. I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity, I’m going to shock the world. I’m going to become the first female two-division champion. That’s all.
“I do expect the girls to be a little bigger, a little stronger, but that’s not an issue for me. I’m not scared of being the smaller woman. In fact, I don’t think I will. When you see us match up, you guys will see. I think it’s gong to be a great fight.”
Xiong and Lee will do battle in the main event of ONE: Heart of the Lion, with a title unification bout between bantamweight Bibiano Fernandes and interim champion Kevin Belingon expected to take place in the co-main event.