MMA: Lee faces Yamaguchi in Nov 24 rematch

Singapore's Angela Lee (left) and Japan's Mei Yamaguchi at The Cathay on May 5, 2016.
Singapore's Angela Lee (left) and Japan's Mei Yamaguchi at The Cathay on May 5, 2016. PHOTO: ST FILE

When Angela Lee and Japan's Mei Yamaguchi first squared off for the inaugural One Championship atomweight title last year, the result made the then 19-year-old Lee the youngest mixed martial arts (MMA) world champion in history.

A year and two title defences on, the now 21-year old will defend her title in a rematch against the 34-year-old Yamaguchi on Nov 24 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Reflecting on their first encounter, Lee said in a statement via One Championship: "I've evolved so much since my last fight with Mei. In our first fight, I was 19 years old, fighting for a world title and the nerves got the best of me."

Lee, who is of Korean and Singaporean descent, has not relinquished her grip on the belt, retaining her title twice and now boasting an 8-0 win-loss career record.

"I've continued to sharpen my skills and I've gained the confidence that comes with being the champion," she said, adding that "I did expect the fans to want a rematch between us but I knew it wouldn't happen right away".

Most recently, she forced Brazilian Istela Nunes to tap out with an anaconda choke at One Championship's Dynasty of Heroes event held in the Republic on May 26.

The Nov 24 fight card will boast another championship fight, with welterweight champion Ben Askren taking on one-time lightweight champion Shinya Aoki.

The fight will be Askren's last regardless of the result, with the 33-year-old American set to become an executive at One.

One's chairman and chief executive officer Chatri Sityodtong said on Facebook: "Angela and Mei have agreed to what will arguably be the most anticipated rematch in the history of martial arts in Asia."

Lee added: "You will see another spectacular display of heart, tenacity and technique. Only this time, it won't go to a five-round decision."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2017, with the headline 'Lee faces Yamaguchi in Nov 24 MMA rematch'. Print Edition | Subscribe