Singaporean MMA fighter scores quick win in professional debut

Singaporean MMA fighter scores quick win in professional debut
One Championship's Warrior's Quest: In the MMA promotion's eighth card in Singapore, Singapore's Angela Lee won over Eygpt's Aya Saber in the Strawweight Class.

Her professional debut was well worth the 15-year wait.

Angela Lee - who has been training in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) since she was three - kick-started her professional career with a stellar performance at the ONE Championship: Warrior's Quest at the Singapore Indoor Stadium last night.

Up against an opponent 8cm taller and with eight matches under her belt, some might have expected the University of Hawaii-West Oahu freshman to struggle against Egyptian Aya Saber.

But 18-year-old debutante hardly broke a sweat.

The 1.63-metre tall fighter took just 1min 43sec to bring her opponent into an arm bar and seal the victory by submission in the strawweight fight.

During her interview in the cage, she was lost for words.

"I was getting a bit emotional," she said.

"It's my pro MMA debut fight, the scale is much bigger (than in amateur fights) and I couldn't take it all in.

"It is a dream debut, in Singapore surrounded by my family and friends, everything went perfectly."

It was a night for the newcomers, as Singaporean Benedict Ang, 19, also sealed a win on his debut fight.

The Republic Polytechnic student squared off with Pakistani Waqar Umar, who now has a record of three wins and three losses.

UNANIMOUS DECISION

Benedict took the fight to Umar, securing several takedowns and near-submissions, which left Umar on the defence for most of the fight.

Eventually he won the match in three five-minute rounds by a unanimous decision.

He said: "I took control of most of the fight and I'm happy that I showed how well-rounded a fighter I am.

"I didn't expect to feel so comfortable, I thought there would be more nerves, but there weren't, and that's probably because of the great training I have had."

Singaporeans Amir Khan and Stephen Langdown were also part of the night's programme.

Langdown lost to China's A La Teng Hei Li by a technical knockout in the bantamweight category.

After a fairly even first round, Li came out in the second round with wild aggression that forced the referee to stop the onslaught.

In one of the most exciting matches of the evening, Khan faced Thai Shannon Wiratchai in a featherweight showdown.

The floor of the cage was stained with blood as they went shot for shot, and the crowd cheered in excitement.

Wiratchai eventually defeated Khan by a split decision.

"He's a tough opponent and I fought my heart out," said Wiratchai. "I felt on top of things, we had a lot of back-and-forths.

"I had a few takedowns and I was pounding him, but it's the judges' decision in the end," he added, with a plaster on his left eyebrow.


This article was first published on May 23, 2015.
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