MMA: Angela Lee says she's 'back at 100%' ahead of May title fight at Indoor Stadium

Angela Lee (left) had been scheduled to defend her title against Mei Yamaguchi in November last year, but the match was postponed after the former was involved in a car crash.
Angela Lee (left) had been scheduled to defend her title against Mei Yamaguchi in November last year, but the match was postponed after the former was involved in a car crash.PHOTO: ONE FC

SINGAPORE - Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Angela Lee is set to make another emotional return to the Singapore Indoor Stadium, when she defends her One Championship atomweight (47.7-52.2kg) title against Japan's Mei Yamaguchi on May 18.

The last time she set foot at the venue in November, the 21-year-old American - who fights under the Singapore flag in One - had been overcome with emotion as she made an appearance at One's Immortal Pursuit event.

Lee had been scheduled to defend her title against Yamaguchi on that card, but had crashed her car in Hawaii just weeks earlier. The accident led to a postponement of the fight.

Recalling her tearful walk down the ramp then, Lee said: "It was a really rough time for me, because it was just a couple of weeks after the accident, so I was still very shaken up about it and I was not in the best frame of mind.

"It was a lot for me to take in, being in a packed Singapore Indoor Stadium, with so many things going through my mind about not being able to compete (that night).

"Seeing everyone and feeling the support from everyone, there were just a lot of emotions and I could not contain myself."

She made the comments during a conference call with local and international media on Thursday (March 15) morning.

Lee, who is based in Hawaii and Singapore, was driving from her home in Hawaii to her gym at about 4.30am in early November when she fell asleep at the wheel, causing her car to flip after it hit the guardrails.

She suffered a concussion and minor burns in the accident, and even suffered nightmares well after the incident.

 
 

But after taking a break from training during the Christmas and New Year holidays to spend time with her family, Lee insists she is now back at "100 per cent", both physically and mentally.

And she wants to prove it against Yamaguchi, whom she beat in May 2016 for the atomweight title. Lee has since retained the belt following victories over Chinese Taipei's Jenny Huang and Brazil's Istela Nunes.

"Now I am back at 100 per cent, and you can expect to see the same Angela Lee that blew up the MMA scene in 2015," said Lee, who is nicknamed "Unstoppable" and is undefeated in eight fights.

"I will go in there with confidence, show my skill set, and have my hand raised (in victory) again."

Yamaguchi, however, is certain she has Lee's number. The 35-year-old Tokyo native said she has spent the past two years working on improving her skill set in jiu-jitsu, karate and kickboxing.

"Angela Lee is a great athlete. She's a star, she's young and has so many fans," noted Yamaguchi.

"It has been two years since our last fight, and both of us have had a lot of time to improve a lot of skills.

"I know a lot of people are wondering who can stop the 'Unstoppable' Lee - I believe I can be the one."