Angela Lee Talks Xiong Jing Nan, Stamp Fairtex And Plans For 2020
ONE Championship’s atomweight world champion Angela Lee, has been on a roller coaster ride in the last twelve months. After coming up short in her bid to win a second title against Xiong Jing Nan at ONE: A New Era, and then against Michelle Nicolini at ONE: Masters of Destiny, ‘Unstoppable’ got back to winning ways at ONE: Century, by avenging her loss to ‘The Panda’. And in doing so retained her atomweight crown.
Speaking to ONE Championship, Lee reflected on her up and down journey in 2019.
“2019 was such an important year for me. It didn’t turn out the way I wanted to. Of course, I was upset about the two losses that didn’t go my way in the beginning, but I just feel it was so necessary because I was able to grow so much from that. Everyone says when you have your first loss it can either break you or it can change you. It really changed me and motivated me to do things differently – to push harder,” Lee shared.
“By the end of the year, I just had one focus and I really feel like I had everything on the line and I needed to defend my title and get my confidence back. To finish that fight and to get the tap just before the last two seconds of the final round really was such a great feeling. It was like the cherry on top and it showed that all my hard work paid off.”
With momentum shifting back in her direction, Angela is looking forward to competing against the toughest opponents that the promotion will send her way, in the next twelve months.
“I think this is going to be another great year. I think that with the growth of ONE Championship, I’m hoping to stay very busy and active. I’m looking forward to performing in front of different audiences. I know ONE is planning on coming to the United States this year and I would be really keen on that.
“There are some big names building up in ONE Championship. I think there’s a lot of talented fighters coming up in the ranks and I’m prepared for that. I’m excited for that. I’m welcoming them because I know that everyone has that same end goal to be World Champion, but I know my time isn’t over yet. I’m still in the game and I think that I’m improving. I’m going to be 24 [years old] this year and I have so much more to go,” Lee confidently stated.
Lee has big plans for 2020, in both the atomweight division, where she runs supreme, and the strawweight division. Including a certain trilogy bout.
“For me, having that rematch with Xiong in my division was huge for me. I still have that goal of capturing the ONE strawweight world title in my mind. That’s one of my goals for this year that I would really like to work towards. I’d really love a trilogy match with Xiong for her title. That’s definitely on the list.
“As for the atomweight division, where I have my belt, there’s definitely a lot more girls in this division now. It’s kind of hard to name top five contenders or top ten contenders, but I’m always keeping an eye out when I see the cards and I see an atomweight fight. It definitely catches my attention. I know that Stamp Fairtex is now going into mixed martial arts and she wants to capture the belt as well, and I’d love that fight. I know she’s a great fighter. She has both the Muay Thai and kickboxing world titles but mixed martial arts is a different world.”
Now with renewed confidence, Lee said she plans to fight at least three times in 2020, starting in April or May. And while she is excited for her own year ahead, Angela is equally excited to see her brother Christian defend his ONE lightweight world title.
“Last year was just amazing and it’s going to be hard to top. I think for us, having each other, it’s just so important. Just having that special connection and that bond [with my brother Christian], it’s unlike anything else.
“For Christian, this year is going to be super important to defend his title. To show that he is legitimately the best fighter in the world in his division. I think the world right now is his oyster. He can do anything he wants. I know how hungry he is and this is just the beginning for him.”
Who would you like to see Angela Lee face in the ONE Circle in 2020?