Being undefeated and having an air of invincibility adds a certain allure to a champion, and unbeaten ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee has looked just as her nickname implies.
On Friday Night, 26 May, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Lee (7-0) puts her title and unblemished record on the line against Brazilian knockout artist Istela Nunes (5-0 1 NC) in the main event of ONE: DYNASTY OF HEROES.
The two fighters are both eager to leave with the belt and the zero in their loss columns, and the 20-year-old Singaporean expects that to be her.
“I am the more complete fighter, and at the end of the day, that is what it comes down to,” the title holder says. “I have been doing this my whole life, and when we step into the cage, I know without a doubt I am going to come out victorious.”
The statement Lee made in her first title defense at ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM in March certainly helped to secure her top billing in Singapore, as she obliterated then-unbeaten challenger Jenny Huang with brilliant striking before delivering a TKO in the third round.
Thrilling the crowd with exciting bouts and finishes is a sure-fire way to keep one’s headlining status intact. Lee was pleased with the result, as stoppages are her primary aim when the cage door closes.
“I feel like the statement I made with that bout was, ‘Look, I am the champion, I am legitimate, and I am a finisher.’” Lee says. "Because I want to finish the fight, that makes me one of the more exciting fighters.”
Six of her seven victories have come inside the distance, with the sole decision being the five-round thriller against Mei Yamaguchi that won her the title at Singapore’s ONE: ASCENT TO POWER in May 2016.
What primes this next encounter perfectly is that Nunes did the same thing in August, defeating Yamaguchi via split decision at ONE: HEROES OF THE WORLD, and announcing her arrival to ONE Championship fans.
The Brazilian is a feared two-time Muay Thai world champion, and a video of her triple head kick knockout in mixed martial arts competition even went viral. It is important for an athlete to recognize the threats an opponent poses, and Lee accepts Nunes is "explosive” and “a legitimate striker.”
However, Lee knows it is more important to hone in on her own game, and make sure that it is the focal point of her strategy.
“I cannot focus too much on what she is going to bring to the table and what her game plan is,” she says. "All I can do is focus on myself, my game plan, and make myself as prepared as I can be, so when I step into the cage, I can perform to the best of my abilities.”
With her father and lifelong martial arts coach Ken Lee at the helm, and preparation also taking place at Evolve MMA, there is no doubt the 20-year-old will be primed for action. She is already making waves and showing herself to be a superstar in the Asian martial arts scene. Defeating yet another unbeaten challenger would see that prestige skyrocket.
It all boils down to her performance on the night. Lee’s confidence grows with every single victory, and that confidence is at an all-time high following the dismantling of Huang in Bangkok. The unbeaten champion expects to see a similar image in Singapore, with her hand raised in victory come Friday, 26 May.