By: Nick Portella
What’s good fight fans? Today I had the chance to sit down with an exceptional guest, Angela “Unstoppable” Lee. Angela is undefeated in her professional career with a record of 8-0 with seven finishes. She is also the current undisputed One Championship atomweight champion. Let’s sit down and get to know her a little bit better and see what plans she has for the future.
Nick: I know that you come from a very martial art involved family with parents who have competed around the world and siblings who also take part in combat sports. At what age did you begin training in martial arts?
Angela: I started training in martial arts when I was six. My whole family trains in martial arts, it’s just something that we enjoy doing together. You can call it our bonding time. We just absolutely love it.
Nick: In past interviews, I have heard you say that you do hard drilling with your mother and your younger sister. While I am aware that they are both trained does it ever feel weird to practice striking with some of your closest family members?
Angela: We all trust each other to the point that we know how hard we can go. We know when we can strike and when we need to back off. I’m very lucky to have my family with me on this martial arts journey and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Nick: It is known that you split your time between your home in Hawaii where you have lived since you were young and Singapore where you are a member of Evolve Fight Team. How difficult is it for you to keep up with training while your time is split, and with such a great distance between the two places you reside?
Angela: Training between the two places is second nature to me now and I’ve gotten used to it, so it’s not very difficult at all. In fact, I actually spend a lot more time in Singapore now. Singapore is a great country and I am honored to represent them on the global stage of MMA.
Nick: While being such a dangerous striker you also have a very slick submission game with seven finishes in that fashion. What disciplines do you currently train and what belts do you hold in them?
Angela: While I have trained in mixed martial arts from the beginning, I also excelled at wrestling and pankration during my amateur days. I am a 2-time Pankration World Champion and a Wrestling State Champion, and I hold a 1st-degree black belt in Taekwondo and TDS as well as a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Nick: Women’s MMA has come a long way in a short amount of time. What advice would you give up and coming fighters who are pursuing a career in combat sports?
Angela: My advice would be to give a hundred percent in it. You can’t be in this sport and only have one foot inside the door, you have to be fully committed to the lifestyle of a martial artist and be willing to make the sacrifices necessary. This is one of the toughest sports out there and it takes a really special amount of physical and mental strength to be successful.
Nick: You secured the inaugural One Championship atomweight title at the age of 19 making you the youngest MMA champion in the world. Shortly after, you were in comparison with the great Mike Tyson for your feat. What does it feel like to accomplish such a great honor at such a young age?
Angela: Wow! Mike Tyson! Really? It is always an honor to be compared to the greats. The legendary fighters of the past paved the way for people like me to achieve what I have, to be able to reach my dreams. So it is definitely an honor. I hope that one day I can have the same effect on fighters in the future.
Nick: May 6, 2016, you faced a very dangerous and experienced Mei Yamaguchi. You won that fight via unanimous decision which made you the atomweight champion. Since then you have defended your title twice on March 11 and May 26, 2017, against highly skilled and undefeated opponents. When will your next title defense be?
Angela: While I promised that I would try to be as active as I can this year, which is why I’ve had two fights already within just a few months time, right now I’m just enjoying my time off. You’ll see me back in the cage very soon. I can’t stay away too long, there’s a lot of work to be done. I’ll leave the fight announcement to ONE Championship however, the one thing I can promise is I’ll be ready when the time comes.
Nick: I know that you have said that you would be open to a super fight with UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Do you think it could happen?
Angela: A fight against the best fighters in the world? I’m all for it. I’m very excited about that idea. If it was up to the fighters, anyone would be up for fighting anyone. It’s just because of the organizations and what goes on that side of things. I don’t know if that would be a real thing in the near future, but for me, as a fighter, I’d be all for it. I think it would be a great opportunity and I think the fans would love it. I’m confident in my skills. Joanna [Jedrzejczyk] looks really great when she is fighting all these other girls that are kind of a mismatch, but I feel my skill set brings a whole different look to it. I think it would be a good fight.
I really enjoyed speaking with Angela. I wish her all the best in her career which is turning out to be an exceptional one. I am certain that her fans, myself included are awaiting her return to the cage. I also hope that she enjoys her time off. Signing off for TheMMATakeOver.com this is Nick Portella. @NickPortellaMMA