ONE Championship star Angela Lee: My injury made me much hungrier

Angela Lee
Angela Lee

Reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee, 22, of Singapore will challenge reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan, 31, of China at “ONE: A New Era” on March 31, 2019 at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan. It is the first ever ONE Championship event to take place in the country.

Originally, Lee was scheduled to challenge for the ONE Women’s Strawweight World title at “ONE: Heart of the Lion” on November 9, 2018 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. However, it was postponed due to an unfortunate disk injury.

While the reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion was recovering, all she could think about was the opportunity she missed until the announcement came that her bid for Xiong’s title would push through in Japan. For the Singaporean mixed martial artist, her my injury made her “that much hungrier and that much more motivated over the holidays.”

“That was the only thing on my mind,” Lee added. “I was just focusing on my recovery so I could get back in the gym and start training for the fight again. I was thrilled when ONE Championship said I could have this match-up again and I was just so grateful. I never lost that focus.”

Lee and her team wasted no time as soon as she was medically fit to being training. She was already prepared four months ago, they just had to smoothen out their game plan to give her the edge.

“I was 100 percent ready to face her and defeat her in October before the injury in November,” Lee said. “Now, we’ve really had time to think about it more and come up with the same game plan, but tighten up all the edges. I think it’s going to allow me to go in there that night, really put my best foot forward and use all my tools.”

Here is Lee in a recent ONE Championship open workout in Tokyo:

[PHOTOS] Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex, Rodtang Jitmuangnon lead open workout in Bangkok, Thailand ahead of ‘ONE: A New Era’ in Tokyo, Japan

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ONE Championship held an open workout at The Motif Boxing BKK Gym in Bangkok, Thailand on March, 1, 2019 featuring Muay Thai superstars Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex and Rodtang“Iron Man” Jitmuangnon. Both men are set to compete in separate bouts at “ONE: A New Era,” which will take place at the iconic Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on March 31, 2019.

“I am honored and excited to be part of ONE Championship’s first-ever show in Tokyo, Japan, a country with a rich background and love for martial arts,” Yodsanklai stated. “More importantly, I have the opportunity to avenge a previous loss to Andy Souwer and I get to do it in front of the Japanese fans. I promise to deliver an exciting performance for everyone there.”

A multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion, Yodsanklai is one of the most popular and accomplished strikers in the world. Born in Northeast Thailand, he won close to 200 professional bouts against many fellow Muay Thai legends and in the process, he captured several prestigious titles, including three Lumpinee Stadium World Championships, two Lion Fight World Championships, two WMC World Championships and a WBC World Title.

What drew Yodsanklai to ONE Championship was the lure of testing his skills among the world’s best strikers in ONE Super Series and he now finds himself competing on the toughest proving ground of martial arts competition. Looking to continue his dominance in the ONE Championship arena, he returns to action against Dutch World Champion kickboxer Andy Souwer at “ONE: A New Era.”

Also one of the most recognizable names in the world of Muay Thai, Rodtang captured the Omnoi Stadium World Championship on two occasions. Known for his exciting Muay Mat style, which specializes in devastating strikes and always looks to charge forward to instantly inflict damage, he has beaten some of Thailand’s biggest Muay Thai superstars.

Rodtang eyes to inch himself closer to a possible ONE World Title shot following his two impressive performances on the ONE Super Series stage. At “ONE: A New Era,” he will test his mettle against two-time Muay Thai World Champion Hakim Hamech.

“To be able to compete in ONE Championship means a lot to me, and to be able to compete in their first-ever event in Japan is an absolute honor for me,” Rodtang stated. “To be able to compete in a world-class organization such as this, it is not something that every athlete can say. ONE Championship chose me to be part of their show in Japan.”

“It means a lot to me because they believe in my talent as an athlete,” Rodtang added. “I’m really happy to be in this position. I promise that I won’t disappoint the Japanese fans on March 31st.”

Meanwhile, here is Rodtang in one of his previous ONE Super Series bouts:

Ticket information for ONE: A NEW ERA is available at www.onefc.com.

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.

Complete card announced for ‘ONE: A New Era’ in Tokyo, Japan on March 31, 2019

'ONE: A New Era' fight card

27 February 2019 – Tokyo, Japan: The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), has just announced the complete card for ONE: A NEW ERA, which is set for Sunday, 31 March at the iconic Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.

Ticket information for ONE: A NEW ERA is available at www.onefc.com and on LINE Ticket at https://ticket.line.me/sp/ONEChampionship, as well as Kyodo Tokyo, Ticket Pia, Lawson Ticket, and E-plus.

In the main event of ONE: A NEW ERA, reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang of the Philippines is set to face Japanese martial arts legend and former World Champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki in a long-awaited rematch.

In November 2016, Folayang captured the ONE Lightweight World Title from Aoki via third-round TKO, but surrendered the belt to Martin Nguyen a year later. This past November, Nguyen vacated the title and the Filipino reclaimed the crown with a dominant five-round unanimous decision over Singaporean knockout artist Amir Khan.

Meanwhile, Aoki is riding a three-bout win streak, having finished Rasul Yakhyaev and Ev Ting by submission, and stopping Shannon Wiratchai by TKO. These three wins have elevated the Japanese icon to another shot at the ONE Lightweight World Title, as well as a chance to defeat his former conqueror.

Also, there will be a trio of co-main events.

In the first co-main event, reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan will defend her belt against ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee.

The two martial artists sit at the top of their weight classes, and each has dominated their respective divisions. However, with Lee moving up in weight to challenge Xiong for the strawweight crown, the Singaporean has the chance to become the first two-division women’s World Champion in ONE Championship history. It certainly will not be easy, as “The Panda” represents the toughest challenge in Lee’s career.

In the night’s second co-main event, reigning ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang will defend the middleweight crown against Japan’s Ken Hasegawa.

Aung La N Sang’s first encounter with Hasegawa in June 2018 was a five-round thriller of epic proportions, one which the Myanmar sports icon won in the final moments of the heated battle. The match is considered the “Greatest Bout In ONE Championship History” and was also awarded “Bout Of The Year” honors at the 2018 Global Martial Arts Awards for its nonstop action and dramatic finish. Aung La N Sang and Hasegawa will meet once again in a highly-anticipated rematch that is sure to produce fireworks.

In the last co-main event of the evening, ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon of the Philippines will defend his championship against former titleholder Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes of Brazil in a trilogy match.

The two competitors first met in January 2016, when the Brazilian made quick work of the Filipino, whom he finished via first-round submission. Belingon was unable to showcase much of his striking, as it was easily nullified by Fernandes’ vaunted grappling.

From there, Fernandes continued to establish himself as the most dominant ONE World Champion in history with eight successful World Title defenses. Belingon, on the other hand, worked his way back up to contention, winning six straight bouts in exciting fashion to earn another shot at the ONE Bantamweight World Title.

Belingon captured the ONE Bantamweight World Championship with a scintillating split decision victory over Fernandes last November at ONE: HEART OF THE LION in Singapore. It was a close match-up, one that saw Belingon’s elite striking take center stage as he overcame Fernandes’ world-class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Now, “The Silencer” and “The Flash” will meet in the ONE cage for the third time to finally settle the score.

In addition to the aforementioned bouts, multiple-time World Champions Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez are scheduled to make their first appearances inside the ONE Championship cage.

Alvarez joined ONE Championship in October, taking his stellar career back to Asia where he first made a name for himself. A multiple-time Lightweight World Champion, Alvarez seeks to become a ONE World Champion, but will have to go through a bevy of top lightweight contenders in order to achieve his goal. In his first outing for the promotion, Alvarez will face top contender Timofey Nastyukhin of Russia in a quarter-final bout of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix.

Johnson, meanwhile, is widely-considered the pound-for-pound best mixed martial artist in the history of the sport. He joined ONE Championship in late October and, alongside Alvarez, appeared in Singapore the following week for the Global Martial Arts Summit, Global Martial Arts Awards, and ONE: HEART OF THE LION. Johnson’s opponent for his first ONE Championship bout will be Japan’s Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu. It is a quarter-final bout of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.

The rest of the quarter-final bouts of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix will be held at ONE: A NEW ERA.

Danny “The King” Kingad of the Philippines is set to take on fellow former ONE World Title challenger Andrew Leone in a quarter-final bout of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.

In another tournament matchup, former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov of Kazakhstan will lock horns with former ONE World Title challenger Reece “Lightning” McLaren of Australia.

Also in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix, Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada of Japan will share the cage with undefeated Brazilian standout Ivanildo Delfino.

There will also be an exciting ONE Super Series showdown on the card, as Muay Thai legend Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex squares off against Dutch World Champion kickboxer Andy Souwer.

Yodsanklai is coming off a stunning performance in Kuala Lumpur at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS. The martial arts veteran finished opponent Luis Regis with three rapid-fire uppercuts that drew a chorus of cheers from the crowd.

Souwer, on the other hand, is one of the most internationally-renowned striking superstars ever to emerge from the Netherlands and is a two-time K1 World MAX World Champion and It’s Showtime 70MAX World Champion.

A tough test awaits Japanese veteran and former ONE World Title challenger Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi in her homecoming bout as she is slated to face submission specialist and debutante Kseniya “White Tiger” Lachkova of Russia.

Lachkova has won four of her last five outings by finish, making her a formidable foe for Yamaguchi, who looks to re-establish herself as a top contender for the coveted ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship.

Based out of Jakarta, Indonesia, Anthony “The Archangel” Engelen of the Netherlands aims to place himself back on the winning track against multiple-time BJJ World Champion Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon of the United States.

Tonon is one of the world’s most decorated grapplers, having won multiple tournaments across the globe. He is a former IBJJF World Champion, two-time IBJJF World No-Gi Champion, and four-time Eddie Bravo Invitational Champion. He made his professional mixed martial arts debut in 2018, winning his first three assignments in impressive fashion. Tonon now makes his way back to square off with Engelen in his fourth ONE Championship bout.

On the other hand, Engelen made a successful return to the ONE Championship stage in 2018, finishing both Meas Meul and Jimmy Yabo in the first round. “The Archangel” looks to regain his momentum at the expense of Tonon after falling short in his first match this year.

Rodtang “Iron Man” Jitmuangnon is one of the most recognizable names in the world of Muay Thai, capturing the Omnoi Stadium Muay Thai World Championship on two occasions. Known for his exciting Muay Mat style, which specializes in devastating strikes and always looks to charge forward to instantly inflict damage, Rodtang has beaten some of Thailand’s biggest Muay Thai superstars.

Following his two impressive performances on the ONE Super Series stage, Rodtang eyes to inch himself closer to a possible ONE World Title shot by testing his mettle against two-time Muay Thai World Champion Hakim Hamech. Hamech made quite an impression in his ONE Super Series debut in September 2018, scoring an emphatic first-round knockout victory over Japan’s Yukinori Ogasawara.

In another ONE Super Series contest, two-time Muay Thai World Champion Panicos Yusuf of Cyprus is booked to lock horns with Mohammed “Jordan Boy” Bin Mahmoud of Malaysia.

After his sensational debut against Australian Josh “Timebomb” Tonna this past January, Japanese striker Hiroki Akimoto looks to establish his first win streak in ONE Super Series. He takes on former WBC Muay Thai World Champion Joseph Lasiri of Italy.

Tasked to set the tone for the evening is a three-round lightweight encounter between South Korea’s Yoon Chang Min and India’s Bala Shetty.

ONE: A NEW ERA
Sunday, 31 March
Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan

Main Event
ONE Lightweight World Championship

Eduard Folayang (C) vs Shinya Aoki
Mixed Martial Arts: 77.1kg

Co-Main Event
ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship
Xiong Jing Nan (C) vs Angela Lee
Mixed Martial Arts: 56.7kg

Co-Main Event
ONE Middleweight World Championship

Aung La N Sang (C) vs Ken Hasegawa
Mixed Martial Arts: 93.0kg

Co-Main Event
ONE Bantamweight World Championship

Kevin Belingon (C) vs Bibiano Fernandes
Mixed Martial Arts: 65.8kg

ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix (Quarter-Final)
Demetrious Johnson vs Yuya Wakamatsu
Mixed Martial Arts: 61.2kg

ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix (Quarter-Final)
Eddie Alvarez vs Timofey Nastyukhin
Mixed Martial Arts: 77.1kg

Andy Souwer vs Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex
ONE Super Series Kickboxing (4oz. Gloves): 72.0kg

ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix (Quarter-Final)
Danny Kingad vs Andrew Leone
Mixed Martial Arts: 61.2kg

ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix (Quarter-Final)
Tatsumitsu Wada vs Ivanildo Delfino
Mixed Martial Arts: 61.2kg

ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix (Quarter-Final)
Kairat Akhmetov vs Reece McLaren
Mixed Martial Arts: 61.2kg

Mei Yamaguchi vs Kseniya Lachkova
Mixed Martial Arts: 52.2kg

Anthony Engelen vs Garry Tonon
Mixed Martial Arts: 70.3kg

Rodtang Jitmuangnon vs Hakim Hamech
ONE Super Series Muay Thai (4oz. Gloves): 61.2kg

Panicos Yusuf vs Mohammed Bin Mahmoud
ONE Super Series Muay Thai (4oz. Gloves): 65.8kg

Hiroki Akimoto vs Joseph Lasiri
ONE Super Series Kickboxing (4oz. Gloves): 61.2kg

Yoon Chang Min vs Bala Shetty
Mixed Martial Arts: 77.1kg

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.

ONE Championship fighter Demetrious Johnson: Tokyo, Japan is beautiful

Demetrious Johnson (© Alvin Berto)
Demetrious Johnson (© Alvin Berto)

American mixed martial arts legend Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson will be competing for the first time outside of the United States for the first time in his career. He makes his ONE Championship debut at the Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan at ONE: A NEW ERA on March 31, 2019 where he is set to face Japanese warrior Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu in the quarter-final round of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.

ONE Championship is making a tremendous push into the Japanese market and if the ONE: A NEW ERA card is any indication, it looks as if the promotion is pulling out all the stops to ensure this event is a success. As a kid who grew up watching Japanese mixed martial arts, Johnson is happy to be competing in Tokyo.

“I’ve been watching Japanese mixed martial arts for a very long time and that’s what I grew up watching,” Johnson said. “I’m very excited because I have never competed overseas before and obviously doing it in Japan is fantastic.”

Johnson feels proud to be competing at ONE: A NEW ERA where the heavily-stacked fight card includes four reigning World Champions set to defend their titles. He said, “I’m excited to be one of the forerunners for Japanese mixed martial arts for ONE Championship in the coming years.”

While Johnson may be visiting Tokyo to take care of business, it is not the first time he has been to Japan. He has made trips to the country in the past but as a sightseer.

“Tokyo, Japan is beautiful it is my third time to visit here,” Johnson said. “The food is amazing. The wagyu beef is fascinating and I love it.”

As a former 12-time UFC Flyweight Champion, Johnson is looking forward to showcasing his skills to his fans as well as a new Asian audience. The American fighter is excited to discover how he would fare against Asian athletes.

“The fans can expect to see a complete martial artist who has conquered the North American market and now coming over here,” Johnson said. “I want to see how much I hang with the Asian athletes.”

In the past few months, Johnson has been training at home in preparation for his bout against Wakamatsu. Fans are about to witness a new chapter unfold in the former UFC champion’s career with everything set and ready for his first ONE Championship bout.

“I’m looking forward to be competing with a new set of rules and weight class, fighting with fresh competition,” Johnson concluded. “It’s a new beginning and a new adventure for me.”

Here is Johnson during an open workout in Japan with Angela Lee and Demetrious Johnson: