MMA: Angela Lee to defend atomweight title against Mei Yamaguchi on May 18 at Indoor Stadium

Angela Lee (left) and Mei Yamaguchi (right) at their atomweight title clash on May 5, 2016.
Angela Lee (left) and Mei Yamaguchi (right) at their atomweight title clash on May 5, 2016.PHOTO: ST FILE

JAKARTA - She last appeared at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Nov 24 last year, with her One Championship atomweight title belt on her shoulder but clad in streetwear instead of fight gear, as she tearfully greeted her fans in a cameo appearance.

American Angela Lee was supposed to defend her title against Japan's Mei Yamaguchi - whom she beat in May 2016 to win the belt - that November night, but the championship bout was cancelled after Lee, 21, got into a car accident on Nov 7.

Fans of the popular mixed martial arts fighter will be delighted to know that she will be back in action in the cage on May 18 at the Indoor Stadium.

One's chairman and chief executive officer Chatri Sityodtong told The Straits Times that Lee will face Yamaguchi in a rematch for the atomweight title.

"I just had dinner with Angela a couple of weeks ago; she's much, much better mentally, physically and emotionally," Chatri told ST on the sidelines of the Kings of Courage press conference at the Fairmont Jakarta on Thursday (Jan 18).

"She will be ready to defend her title in May in Singapore. It is 100 per cent, definitely on.

"She is beginning to train again, and she told me she wants to compete in May. I said okay, and Mei Yamaguchi is ready any time, so there's no reason why it can't happen in May."

Lee, who is based in Hawaii and Singapore, was driving from her home in Hawaii to her gym at about 4.30am on Nov 7 when she fell asleep at the wheel, causing her car to flip after it hit the guardrails.

She suffered concussion and minor burns from the accident, as well as emotional trauma, with One cancelling her title defence later that month.

Lee was the first woman to win a title in the Singapore-headquartered, Asia-focused MMA organisation when she won the belt in 2016.

She fights under the Singapore flag because her father Ken was born in the Republic.

Meanwhile, Singaporean Tiffany Teo will face China's Xiong Jingnan for the vacant women's strawweight (52.3-56.7kg) title at the Kings of Courage event on Saturday (Jan 20) at the Jakarta Convention Centre.

If she wins, the 27-year-old will be the first Singaporean citizen to win a major MMA title.