SINGAPORE - With a partisan 11,000-strong crowd roaring her on, 19-year-old Angela Lee defeated Japan's Mei Yamaguchi at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday night to be crowned the first women's world champion of mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion One Championship.
Lee won the atomweight title clash by unanimous decision after five rounds. It was one of two championship events on the nine-bout fight card, dubbed Ascent to Power.
The win maintained her unblemished win-loss record, which stands at 6-0.
In her post-fight interview, an emotional Lee said: "I told you guys. I was born for this. It take an army to build a champion and I want to thank my amazing team and my parents. Without you guys I wouldn't be here."
In the night's other title fight, Brazil's Roger Gracie, who hails from the renowned Gracie MMA clan, took on Poland's Michal Pasternak for One Championship's inaugural light heavyweight title fight.
Pasternak, 32, was 9-0 entering the fight, but the experienced Gracie proved too much for him. The 34-year-old Brazilian submitted his opponent in the first round.
He said: "This is awesome. I dedicate this belt to my family."
The United States' Brad Robinson and Malaysia's Agilan Thani got the fight night started with their catchweight (88kg) bout. With less than a minute to go in the first round, Agilan won by technical knock-out (strikes).
Azerbaijan's Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev and China's Ma Jian Wen were up next in a lightweight (77.1kg) fight. Arslanaliev won by technical knock-out (strikes), pummelling his opponent into submission.
Singapore fighter Benedict Ang, who had dyed his hair golden for the fight, was next, and he kept his unbeaten streak intact with a win in the third round against the Philippines' Jimmy Yabo.
Ang's Evolve MMA team-mate Amir Khan kept up the winning run for the homegrown fighters as he won in the first round against Chinese Taipei's John Chang by technical knockout (punches and elbows).
In his post-fight interview, the full-time national serviceman first thanked his commanders for being understanding with his training needs, to cheers from the crowd.
Japan's Tatsuya Mizuno then took on Egypt's Mohamed Ali in a middleweight (93kg) clash. Mizuno won by technical knockout .
Lee's brother Christian, 17, took to the ring next for only his fourth professional bout. The teenager was hardly awed as he submitted the Philippines' Cary Bullos 2min 7sec in the first round for an easy and quick win.
Mongolia's Narantungalag Jadambaa submitted Japan's Kotetsu Boku in an entertaining featherweight clash. Boku demonstrated good technique to recover from being pinned down several times but could do nothing against Jadambaa's submission choke.
This article was first published on May 6, 2016.
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