SINGAPORE - More than a year since Angela Lee's last fight in Singapore, the mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter and One Championship atomweight champion is back and raring to take the Singapore Indoor Stadium crowd by storm once more.
On the eve of her title defence against Brazilian challenger Istela Nunes at the MMA promotion's Dynasty of Heroes event on Friday, Lee expressed her confidence to retain her belt.
Speaking at McGettigan's Clarke Quay on Thursday, alongside Singapore's first Olympic champion Joseph Schooling, Lee admitted that Nunes will give her the stiffest test yet.
The 20-year-old said: "My toughest fight, my next step, is going to be right in front of me tomorrow night. And I don't think it'll be smart to overlook my opponent. I think it'll be the toughest test for me tomorrow.
"With each fight, the opponent is going to get tougher and tougher. Especially because Istela is a two-time muay thai world champion, she's decorated. She's undefeated as well. I think she poses a good challenge."
Lee dismissed any anxiety ahead of her fight, saying: "I'm in another class above these girls. I've trained hard and I'm not worried about tomorrow night."
Lee is the crowd favourite for the bout. She is born in Vancouver, raised in Hawaii and she is representing Singapore-based Evolve MMA team.
Nunes, 24, is expected to give Lee her stiffest test since Lee became One Championship's first female champion last May, when she beat Japanese Mei Yamaguchi after a gruelling five-round bout at the Indoor Stadium.
It will be the second time Lee will be putting her title on the line. She successfully defended her title against Taiwanese Jenny Huang at One Championship's Bangkok event in March.
Both Lee and Nunes are undefeated. Lee holds a 7-0 win-loss record, while Nunes' stands at 5-0, including a defeat of Yamaguchi last August in Macau.
A former muay thai world champion, Nunes boasts a strong striking game and will look to deal Lee her first loss inside the cage.
The co-main event of the nine-bout fight card is another title clash between welterweight champion Ben Askren and Malaysian Agilan Thani.
Askren said resolutely: "I'll take three to four minutes to knock (Thani) out."
Local fighters will also be in action on Friday, as Amir Khan and Tiffany Teo will take on Rajinder Singh Meena of India and Rebecca Heintzman-Rozewski of the United States respectively.