Angela Lee still wants the strawweight title! She is the only fighter to ever hold the atomweight belt and has successfully defended it on five separate occasions.

But she hasn’t been such a success at strawweight and has lost her last two fights in that division. It is a situation Lee is looking to address,

“I definitely want to capture the strawweight belt, so I’d love to fight Xiong again and step up to strawweight and try to capture that champ-champ status,” she said.

Strawweight ambitions

Xiong Jing Nan beat Lee at ONE: ‘A New Era’ in 2019 and the Hawaiian lost to Michelle Nicolini a few months later. She hasn’t fought at strawweight since but still sees herself as potentially being a force in the division,

“There’s a lot of atomweights in the division now. So I’d love to keep defending my (atomweight) title, but I’d like to see the strawweight division grow, just like the atomweight division has grown.”

Lee and Xiong have fought twice. Both fights took place in Tokyo, both ended in the fifth round and on both occasions the champion successfully defended her belt against the challenger.

Bigger improvements

But Lee believes that she has evolved faster than the Chinese fighter in the time that has elapsed since their most recent bout,

“I think that I have grown a lot more in these past few years and made a lot more improvements than she has, and I think it can show in our performances. So definitely, when we match up again, it’s going to be a different story, and I think everyone is eager to see it.”

While the trilogy fight with Xiong will surely happen sooner or later Lee has more urgent business to attend to at atomweight. Seo Hee Ham has won two out of two for ONE Championship and is currently ranked at #2.

Next fight

Lee already beat the #1 contender so a bout with the Korean is next on her agenda,

“I would love to fight Seo. I think that she has done a great job. I think right now it’s clear that she would be the next fight.”

The two both fought on the same card at ONE: ‘X’ last month. It sounds like Lee was watching Ham’s rematch with Denice Zamboanga and believes that, this time at least, the Korean clearly deserved to win,

“It was a tough fight. She competed on the same card as me, and I think she did all the right things to get the win.”

Experienced opponent

Ham is ten years older than Lee and has over twice as much experience. The Korean is riding an eight fight winning streak that has seen her beat some of the best super atomweights in history.

While Lee has never been in with the likes of Ayaka Hamasaki, Miyuu Yamamoto, Jinh Yu Frey and Mina Kurobe she must know them by reputation. She respects the way that Ham has been able to overcome adversity in a career that has taken her from Deep-Jewels to Road FC to Rizin winning titles with all three promotions,

“She’s tough. She fought through some adversity and found a way to win, so I think our skills match up really nicely. She’s an MMA veteran, so it would be great to fight her.”