Just when you thought she couldn’t get any better, reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee unveiled a new dimension to her evolving skill set that took her from impressive to terrifying.
The 20-year-old Lee went head-to-head with previously-unbeaten Jenny Huang of Chinese Taipei in the main event of ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM, which took place in front of a capacity crowd Saturday night, 11 March, at Bangkok’s Impact Arena in Thailand.
The youngest MMA world champion in history, Lee dominated the entire matchup from start to finish, peppering a game but outclassed Huang with pinpoint accurate strikes. By the middle of the third round, Lee had overwhelmed Huang all the way to the mat, finishing her off with ground-and-pound.
The end came officially at 3:37 of round three, with Lee earning a technical knockout to retain the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship in her first title defense.
“Well I have had some time to work (on striking) because I haven’t fought in a while, so it feels really great,” Lee told Mitch Chilson in the post-fight interview. “It feels like I’m back home here in the ONE Championship cage. It feels amazing, I cannot describe what I’m feeling right now.”
Lee, known for her creative submission game, owned five submissions out of six total wins entering Saturday night’s main event. Fans and observers all but expected Lee to take matters to the ground once again to try and submit Huang, but Lee took matters into her own hands — literally.
Huang had her moments, and seemed content in pulling the counter, landing a handful of telling blows here and there. However, her successful hits were simply too few and far between. Lee just dominated the bout from end-to-end and there was no denying the champion this evening.
It was a spectacular performance from Lee, one that has surely cemented her place as one of the promotion’s top stars.
“Thank you guys for coming out. I have to say thank you to my opponent Jenny [Huang] for being such a courageous warrior. She brought out the best in me,” Lee added.
With the victory, Lee improves her record to an unblemished 7-0 and earns her first victory via TKO. Huang suffers the first loss of her young career and falls to 5-1.
The comeback bout for former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke took a back seat to the ascension of Joshua Pacio, as the Team Lakay fighter grinded out a hard-fought split decision win at ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM on Saturday Night, 11 March.
This was a bout filled with non-stop action, with the Filipino mixed martial artist Pacio controlling the opening two stanzas via takedowns and well-executed ground and pound. With a clear advantage on the feet, Amnuaysirichoke, a former three-time Lumpinee Muay Thai Champion, looked to jump to a fast start in the opener.
The Singaporean-based Thai fighter fired off punches and kicks, but slipped up and allowed Pacio to catch his foot and score a takedown. From there, Amnuaysirichoke spent the bulk of the round staring at the lights, while dodging punches and submission attempts.
Round two held more of the same for Amnuaysirichoke. Pacio caught another of the former champion’s kicks, and the Evolve MMA superstar was re-introduced to the canvas. The Team Lakay fighter was in full control. He peppered his Thai adversary with punches, but was unable to inflict much damage.
Amnuaysirichoke showed a brief sign of life, scrambling to his feet with two minutes left in the round, but surrendered his back in the escape attempt before being dragged back to the mat. The pair exchanged punches on the ground to conclude the second stanza.
Knowing he needed a spectacular finish for a chance to win, Amnuaysirichoke blitzed Pacio in the bout’s final round. The Filipino landed an uppercut early, but was unable to escape his opponent’s persistent attack.
As Amnuaysirichoke continued to stuff Pacio’s takedowns, his confidence grew. Late in the third, the Evolve MMA fighter landed several big right hands and even took Pacio’s back. He left his Filipino rival with a leg kick as a parting gift that landed with a thud to conclude the match.
While one judge was impressed with the third-round heroics, two judges gave the nod to Pacio. The Team Lakay warrior improves his record to 9-1 and is closer to a title rematch against current ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito.
Amnuaysirichoke suffers his second-straight blemish, moving to 6-2, and loses again in Bangkok ten months after dropping the belt to Naito.
On Saturday Night, 11 March, the hometown hero survived an early onslaught from two-time Philippines Kyokushin karate national champion Ramon “The Bicolano” Gonzales, earning a second-round TKO at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
Sityodtong, a former WBA Super Featherweight World Champion, was the elder statesman in tonight’s fight. With a 2-1 record, his transition to MMA after a highly decorated boxing career of 58-3-1 (47 KOs) had thus far been a modest success, but Gonzales would put that to the test.
The Filipino showed off his prestigious karate background early with an array of kicks, including one that swept Sityodtong off his feet. Although the Evolve MMA product got back up, Gonzales took him down, and for about a minute, it looked like “Little Tyson” could turn that into a guillotine choke. Gonzales, however, was able to pop his head free as Sityodtong’s arms grew tired.
The rest of the first frame favored Gonzales, as he used an effective top game to spin to side control and hunt for submissions. When Sityodtong tried to push him back to guard, Gonzales responded with a full mount. The Singaporean-based Thai then gave up his back to the strikes, and had to fight off two rear-naked choke attempts, including one that lasted right until the bell.
“Little Tyson” was in big trouble after being dominated to end the opening stanza, but one explosive punch early in the second round changed his fortune. Gonzales suddenly seemed spent from all the energy he expended going for submissions, eating furious right hands until he sat on the fence, stunned.
Referee Yuji Shimada called for the Filipino to stand when Sityodtong stood up, and he did so slowly and reluctantly. Sityodtong just continued to pour it on.
The end came as both men were exchanging strikes on their knees, with the boxing veteran landing devastating shots, then backing off to force another stand-up. Gonzales was unable to answer the referee’s call to do so, which led to an official finish via verbal submission at 3:21 in round number two.
Sityodtong improves to 3-1 with the win, while Gonzales falls to 1-2 with the loss.