SINGAPORE - With a flurry of social media postings, One Championship women’s atomweight champion Angela Lee delivered the most brutal knockout of her flawless mixed martial arts (MMA) career to date and left thousands of pining hearts across Singapore and the world lying on the canvas.
The MMA star announced her engagement on Instagram and Twitter to fellow One Championship fighter Bruno Pucci at Haleiwa Beach Park in Hawaii on Sunday, where they have been on vacation.
Lee told The Straits Times on Tuesday (Oct 24) that she was over the moon to have found "the one".
"I am so thrilled and excited about our engagement! Some people search their whole lives to find "the one” so I think that Bruno and I are very lucky to find each other now," Lee said.
The 21-year-old also sounded off a warning, saying she had no intention of taking her eye off the ball with regard to fighting in the cage.
"I’m more focused now than ever! There is no better motivation for my fights and my career," Lee added.
The couple have been in a relationship since January and a date has yet to be set for their wedding.
Lee, who is of Korean and Singaporean descent, and her 27-year-old Brazilian fiance posted several photographs and videos on their respective Instagram profiles on Sunday, garnering several thousand likes and hundreds of comments from well-wishers.
Fellow fighters from the One Championship stable like Ann Osman and Brandon Vera as well as Ultimate Fighting Championship flyweight fighter Henry Cejudo, Mediacorp 98.7 FM DJ Joakim Gomez and renowned photographer Clark Little were quick to offer their congratulations to the pair.
Netizens also referenced their MMA backgrounds with Mag Kan quipping on Facebook, “Imagine if they have disagreements at home!” while Tony Tan joked on Facebook, saying he knew “how they would settle their disputes”.
Responses from Lee’s many male admirers were, however, more muted on Facebook, lamenting that she was now “off the market”.
Lee did not hide her love for Pucci, with a series of gushing posts that read, “YES! A million times, YES! Bruno Pucci, thank you for completing my fairy tale. I can’t wait to (officially) be yours forever!”
Pucci moved to Singapore in November 2012 to join Evolve MMA gym as a Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor, and it was there that the two lovebirds met, with Lee also being an MMA instructor at Evolve.
The featherweight grappler has a 5-2 win-loss career record and he chalked up his first technical knockout victory over Filipino Jimmy Yabo in July. Lee, who shuttles between Singapore and Hawaii, made her debut with One Championship, a Singapore-based MMA promoter and Asia’s largest MMA organisation, in 2015.
Loren Mack, One Championship's vice-president of public relations and communications, said in a phone call that he found out about Lee's engagement on Instagram and "wished her all the best and happiness in the world".
Lee, who is unbeaten in her MMA career with a perfect 8-0 win-loss career record, will be taking on Japan's Mei Yamaguchi in Singapore on Nov 24 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in a rematch of last year's title fight.
In their last battle, she beat Yamaguchi, 34, via an unanimous decision after five rounds.