MMA: No chance of a cross-promotion UFC-One Championship event featuring Angela Lee

Singapore's Angela Lee celebrates after defeating Brazil's Istela Nunes during the Mixed Martial Art (MMA) One Women’s Atomweight Championship on May 26, 2017 at the Indoor Stadium in Singapore.
Singapore's Angela Lee celebrates after defeating Brazil's Istela Nunes during the Mixed Martial Art (MMA) One Women’s Atomweight Championship on May 26, 2017 at the Indoor Stadium in Singapore.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Angela Lee is not good enough at the moment to join the ranks of the top fighters in the world's biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Following Lee's second successful title defence on May 26 against Istela Nunes at One Championship's Dynasty of Heroes event in Singapore, One Championship's chairman and chief executive Chatri Sityodtong had raised the prospect of a blockbuster cross-promotion showdown between Lee and a UFC champion.

But UFC's senior vice-president of international and content Joe Carr dismissed the idea.

He said: "There won't be a cross-promotion (event) between UFC and One Championship.

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"That's not going to happen. It really doesn't make sense for us, we have all of our fighters under exclusive contract for us and I think she's fairways away from competing at UFC.

"She's talented and she's young, but there's a pretty big gap between where she is and where our top female fighters like Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), Claudia Gadelha are at, It's not really close and I don't think it'll be competitive. "

Lee, 20, competes in the atomweight division, where the weight limit is 52.5kg.

The Las Vegas-based UFC's lightest women's division is the 115lbs (51.2kg) strawweight where Poland's Joanna Jedrzejczyk has a stranglehold on the belt. The 29-year-old has won all eight of her bouts since joining the UFC in 2014.

While Lee is rapidly becoming a prominent face in Asia, she still has some way to go before she catches the eye of MMA's top fighters.

But Carr did not rule out the possibility of her joining UFC's international stable of fighters in the future.

He said: "But at some point in her career when she gets more experienced and she wants to test herself against the best in the world, we'd welcome her coming over and fighting in UFC and trying to make her way to the top."

UFC is back in Singapore on Saturday (June 17) for its second show, after it staged its first Fight Night in 2014 at the Marina Bay Sands.

The main event of UFC Fight Night Singapore will be headlined by former bantamweight champion Holly Holm who will take on Bethe Correia.

Tickets are available at Sports Hub Tix.