This appears on philstar.com
A conversation with Asian MMA Women’s sensation, Angela Lee
by rick olivares
Angela Lee, the 19-year old sensation from Singapore by way of Canada, is taking the Asian mixed martial arts scene by storm. With a 5-0 record, the five-foot-four inch dynamo is going to the 41st event of One Championship on May 6, 2016 against one of the most decorated women in Asian MMA, Mei Yamaguchi.
We spoke to Lee — who is nicknamed “Unstoppable” — about the upcoming bout that is the biggest women’s fight in Asian MMA.
Philstar: By the time you take the cage to fight Mei Yamaguchi, it will have been a year for you in the ONE Championship. It has been quite a year. You've fought five times. I think you're the only fighter in the ranks of the organization to have fought five times in a year. What are your thoughts about this past years, the number of fights you've had?
Angela: I’m very happy and grateful that I was able to stay busy and fight back to back. I was able to fight so frequently because I finish all of my opponents before the end of the second round. I took minimal damage and came out of every fight injury free. The reason why I wanted to fight as often as I did was because I wanted that title shot. I knew that because there wasn't a Women's Champion yet so I would have to work even harder and fight even more impressively to prove myself worthy of title contention.
Philstar: That’s almost non-stop action. How do you unwind? How do you recuperate? What's life away from the cage for you?
Angela: To unwind, I'll give my body a day or two to rest from the hard training leading up to the fight, maybe get a massage, but then it's straight back to the grind. The constant thought in my mind is, "How can I get myself a shot at being the first ever Women's Champion in ONE?".
Philstar: How has it changed for you personally and professionally since you joined One Championship?
Angela: Personally, since joining ONE, I've had the opportunity to meet incredible people from all around the world and travel to countries I've never been before! Professionally, I've had fight exposure to over 1 billion viewers worldwide. I've gathered quite a following in the last year and I'm excited to gain even more traction in the global MMA scene in the next few years.
Philstar: When you fight Mei, she's has four times the number of your fights and is 15 years older if I am not mistaken. Although she has not fought in a year. What do you think of your youth/recent activity versus her age and experience?
Angela: Mei’s greatest strength will be her experience and her confidence. However, I know that Mei has never faced anyone like me before. I push a pace that she won't be used to and I'm a completely different fighter then anyone she's ever fought.
Philstar: It is said that your stand up skills are still raw and unpolished. And you're up against someone who has superb striking skills. Your thoughts about that?
Angela: I disagree with both of those statements... I train with Muay Thai and Boxing World Champions on a daily basis with the Evolve Fight Team. These guys are legends when it comes to striking. I guess You'll see whose striking is more efficient come May 6th.
Philstar: How does your training for Yamaguchi vary from Heintzman? Or from Lena? How do you train? Is to match the opponent's strengths? What's the mindset there?
Angela: Me and my Dad/Coach create a different game plan for each opponent I face. I have been training specifically for Mei. I have studied her fights, seen her tendencies, and have thought out every possible fight strategy that she would use against me. I'm constantly sharpening my skills whenever I train and my team-mates on the Evolve Fight Team and dad have a huge amount of knowledge and experience when it comes to improving these skills. I know what my abilities are and where my strengths lay. I plan on utilizing them to capitalize on and expose Mei's weaknesses.
Philstar: The cool thing about MMA is fans know no borders. What is the best interaction you've had with a fan or group of fans? Can you share that anecdote?
Angela: I think my favorite encounter with fans so far has been at a bubble tea stand in Singapore. There were a group of guys in front of me and they all recognized me and told me that they were big fans. They asked if they could get pictures with me after and I said, "Of course!" When I got to the front of the line to pay for my drink, the cashier told me that one of the guys had already paid for me! Fighter perks! Haha!
Philstar: Thanks for your time, Angela. Good luck.