Fighting Lee wants to lead a 'new era' for women

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, March 17, 2017
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 Angela Lee.

Top Asian fighter Angela Lee said yesterday she is prepared to headline a "new era" for women's mixed martial arts in the region, and looked forward to a possible fight in China.

Lee, 20, who is of Singaporean and Korean descent, is one of the sport's most exciting prospects and has gained many fans since becoming the world's youngest MMA champion last year.

"I'm really excited to be paving the way for women's MMA in Asia," said Lee, who fights under One Championship, the organization which has spearheaded the growth of the sport in Asia.

"Now women's MMA is kind of like the new big thing. It's really great because you're seeing a lot of highly skilled athletes now," she added.

"Before, women's MMA was kind of just pushed to the side, not really a big deal. I think that this is just the beginning of a huge new era."

Lee was speaking at the gym in Singapore where she trains. She had just returned from Bangkok, where she successfully defended her ONE Championship atomweight world title via a technical knockout of Chinese Taipei's Jenny Huang.

Lee, who divides her time between Singapore and Hawaii, said that in North America, the sport has already taken off but has still room for growth in Asia. "I'm very excited to see all the growth that is to come."

As the sport also gains popularity in China, Lee said she is open to fighting there.

"China is a huge untapped market. I haven't fought in China, it's some place that I do want to go to," she said.

"I think the more female fights with fighters from all around Asia, it's definitely going to help grow the sport in countries like China, where it is usually not so popular for women to be fighting."

Singapore-based One Championship has 24 events scheduled for 2017.

Last month, the world's biggest MMA organization, the Las Vegas-based Ultimate Fighting Championship, announced its return to Asia with a Singapore show and a desire to debut in China.

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