ONE Championship: Angela Lee open to permanent move up to strawweight
Santino Honasan on Mar 29, 2019 11:28 AM
If it goes the way that I imagine it going and I put on a beautiful performance and crush her, then I might stay in this weight division." - Angela Lee
Reigning ONE Women's Atomweight World Champion Angela "Unstoppable" Lee has the opportunity to become the first female two-division world champion in ONE Championship history when she faces titleholder Xiong Jing Nan for the ONE Women's Strawweight World Championship at ONE: A New Era on Sunday, March 31st in Tokyo, Japan.
The inaugural women's atomweght titleholder, Lee will be moving up in weight to challenge Xiong. According to Lee, the move could be a permanent one, depending on what happens in the fight.
"It really depends on the result of this fight. If it goes the way that I imagine it going and I put on a beautiful performance and crush her, then I might stay in this weight division," Lee shared with ABS-CBN Sports.
"But it’s very tempting to want to go down to atomweight and simultaneously defend both divisions," Lee added.
In ONE history, only two fighters in Martin Nguyen and Aung La N Sang have become two-division world champions.
Nguyen captured the ONE Featherweight World Championship after dethroning Marat Gafurov, and then stunned the world with a KO win to snatch the ONE Lightweight World Championship from Eduard Folayang in Manila back in 2017.
Nguyen later vacated the ONE Lightweight World Championship due to inactivity. As for the featherweight strap, Nguyen successfully defended it against Christian Lee back in 2018, and is set to defend the title again against former champion Narantungalag Jadambaa in Manila on April 12th.
Aung La N Sang avenged a previous loss to Vitaly Bigdash to become the ONE Middleweight World Championship back in 2017, and then defeated Alexandre Machado for the vacant ONE Light Heavyweight World Champion ship in 2018.
The Myanmar-born star has successfully defended the middleweight strap twice and is set to defend it against Ken Hasegawa also at ONE: A New Era. He has yet to defend the light heavyweight crown, but could be putting it up for grabs later this year after reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon "The Truth" Vera laid out the challenge last year.
Should Lee emerge victorious on Sunday, she finds herself in elite company and in an interesting position in her career.
If she decides to stay at strawweight, she will be competing against bigger and heavier fighters compared to what she's used to at women's atomweight.
A permanent move to atomweight will also mean that the throne will be vacant, opening up opportunities for the rest of the division.
"I’m not quite sure, I’m going to have to see after this fight," Lee reiterated.
Before she worries about the future however, Lee will first have to deal with the present in the form of Xiong Jing Nan on Sunday.
Catch ONE: A New Era on Sunday, March 31st, LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD channel 166, and livestreaming on https://sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/one, the ABS-CBN Sports Facebook Page, and on the iWant App!