Fans weren’t the only ones impressed with “Unstoppable” Angela Lee’s (6-0) performance against game Japanese veteran Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi (15-9-1) over the weekend at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.
ONE Championship Chairman Chatri Sityodtong took to Facebook to announce that Lee had bagged the rare ONE Warrior Bonus, given out to fighters who display extraordinary martial arts skill and warrior spirit.
Lee took on Yamaguchi in the highly-anticipated headline bout at ONE: ASCENT TO POWER. The five-round contest was for the inaugural ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship.
“Due to her extraordinary display of martial arts skill and warrior spirit in the main event of ONE Championship: Ascent to Power, ONE Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee has been awarded a ONE Warrior Bonus of US$50,000,” said Sityodtong in the post.
In addition, Yamaguchi, who gave Lee all that she could handle and subsequently became Lee’s toughest test to date was awarded her fight win bonus for her valiant effort despite losing the bout.
It was certainly a bout to remember. The two women battled each other for 25 minutes, showcasing a tremendous level of skill and technique. Both fighters went through rough patches and traded momentum every half-minute it seemed.
For the most part, Yamaguchi provided Lee with a substantial challenge, both on the ground and in the stand-up. Lee was in deep trouble on multiple occasions, even being nearly finished care of a Yamaguchi overhand right. But like all true champions, she found a way to dig deep and dominate the second half of the fight as Yamaguchi began to fade.
“Without a doubt, these two phenomenal martial artists put on one of the greatest WMMA world title fights in history,” Sityodtong added. “Respect! I am almost certain these two will meet again in the future.”
The ONE Warrior Bonus was first introduced in 2014, when it was awarded to Filipino featherweight standout Eric “The Natural” Kelly, for his winning performance against “Ruthless” Rob Lisita at ONE: War of Dragons in Taipei.
The bonus wasn’t handed out again since, until last Friday night.
With the victory, Lee became the youngest ever to win a world championship in a major mixed martial arts promotion, and ONE Championship’s first female world champion. – By Carlos Cinco
Follow this writer on Twitter: @CarlosCincoFCB