Angela Lee gets ONE title shot against Japanese veteran

Singapore’s mixed martial arts queen “Unstoppable” Angela Lee (5-0) is finally getting a crack at ONE Championship gold.

On May 6 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Lee will compete for the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship opposite Japanese MMA veteran Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi (15-8-1) in an event called ONE: Ascent to Power.

“This fight is going to be the most important fight of my life,” said the 19-year old Lee. “All my hard work and all my training is going to pay off. It’s time to make history!”

Originally from Waipahu, Hawaii but with roots in Singapore, Lee is riding high on an unbeaten 5-fight win streak, as she has quickly become one of the hottest mixed martial arts prospects in Asia regardless of division or weight class.

She burst onto the scene with an armbar submission of Egyptian Aya Saeid Saber and followed that up months later with a choke out of Mona Samir. Last November, Lee pulled off the first ever Twister submission in her victory over Natalie Gonzales Hills.

In her two toughest fights to date, Lee thrashed both Lena Tkhorevska and Rebecca Heintzman by submission. All five of her victories have come by submission.

“I’m just a girl out here chasing her dream. I love what I do,” said Lee. “I love training, competing, fighting. I’m really grateful and lucky to be doing what I love.”

Lee’s opponent, 33-year old Yamaguchi, comes from a different background. Born in Tokyo, Japan, Yamaguchi moved to Los Angeles when she was little and discovered martial arts after watching Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan on television.

Yamaguchi’s parents signed her up at a local Karate school at age 6 and she was hooked for life.

“I didn’t imagine this,” said Yamaguchi. “I saw a lot of women showing that they could do this but I never imagined that I could become that. I’ve been fighting since I was a kid. It gives me more confidence. Not only from the experience in sports but from the experience in my life.”

With a record of 15 wins and 8 losses, Yamaguchi has the experience of a grizzled veteran, and she’ll use every bit of knowledge she has amassed throughout the years to handle the youthfulness of Lee.

The two female warriors will do battle in a five-round women’s atomweight contest in front of Lee’s adoptive home crowd. Singapore has embraced Lee with open arms as she represents the country on the international stage of MMA.

ONE: Ascent to Power will also feature a main event headliner ONE Middleweight World Champion Vitaly Bigdash who will put his title on the line against hard-charging Aleksei Butorin. Also on the card is Angela Lee’s younger brother Christian Lee, taking on the Philippines’ Cary “The Prince” Bullos. – By Carlos Cinco

Follow this writer on Twitter: @CarlosCincoFCB