Angela Lee put on another virtuoso performance to defeat Istela Nunes at ONE: DYNASTY OF HEROES, and defend her ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship for the second time.
Following the second-round submission, the 20-year-old Lee dropped to her knees in the middle of the cage and broke down into tears.
It may have seemed at first that the champion was simply overjoyed at securing the win, but as it turns out, Lee was genuinely fearful of losing her title that bout.
It was recently revealed that Lee had to overcome a severe bout of pneumonia before even stepping in the cage.
ONE Championship Founder, Chairman, and CEO Chatri Sityodtong published the following post on Facebook in the aftermath of Lee’s victory at the Singapore Indoor Stadium:
The world had no idea, but 10 days ago, a doctor diagnosed Angela Lee with a bad case of pneumonia. Her lungs were full of mucus and she had a terrible wheezing cough. She could not breathe. Her cardio was very poor and her energy was limited. The doctor immediately put Angela on aggressive antibiotics that lasted until this week. In fact, she threw up all day yesterday and today. This entire time, I was waiting for either Angela or her dad to cancel the fight. I even asked several times to cancel, but to no avail. After beating Istela Nunes tonight, Angela went straight to the bathroom and threw up again.
My Muay Thai teacher, the legendary Kru Yodtong Senanan, used to tell me often that a World Champion is someone who can win under any circumstance. Today, Angela Lee passed an impossible test on the journey of unleashing her greatness. Without a doubt, Angela is one of the greatest World Champions on Earth in any weight class - male or female. She is a true warrior who exemplifies the authentic spirit of martial arts.
It makes Lee’s performance in the fight all the more remarkable. The 20-year-old phenom attempted a variety of unorthodox submission attempts before finally finishing the fight in with an anaconda choke.
What’s more impressive is that Lee only accomplished the feat in the second round, which means she had to endure for an extended amount of time against a top competitor.
The bout marked the first loss of Nunes’ professional career, and the second time in succession that Lee had overcome a previously-undefeated opponent to defend her title.