Angela Lee had been expected to defend her atomweight belt against Seo Hee Ham next. So the news that she would be moving up to strawweight to challenge Xiong Jing Nan came as something of a surprise.

There was some speculation that Lee might nor return to atomweight. But it sounds like she wants to continue defending that title regardless of the outcome this weekend.

Speaking ahead of her ONE on Prime Video 2 headliner against Xiong she told the SCMP that,

“Initially my thoughts were I was going to fight (Ham) in the atomweight division but if she’s going to be not too active then other fighters are going to get that opportunity.”


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Busy and active

If Ham is unhappy about being overlooked for a title shot she has kept it to herself. It seems that the Korean is out of action for the time being and Lee believes she is currently injured,

“I was looking forward to that fight. I thought that was going to be the fight to happen for my next fight, but I was told that she was injured.”

If Lee prevails in the trilogy fight on Saturday morning (Singapore time) she will have two titles to defend. Having fought just five times in the past four years, a period in which she became a mother for the first time, the 26 year old is looking to be much more active in 2023,

“I’m hoping to make 2023 a busy and active year. That’s the goal.”

ONE Championship has had no shortage of two division champions. Reinier de Ridder currently has that honour while both Martin Nguyen and Aung La Nsang have also held two titles simultaneously.


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Two titles

A loss on Saturday would leave Lee 0-3 in her last three strawweight fights. There would not be much appetite for another fight with Xiong Jing Nan at that weight.

But a win would give the Hawaiian two titles to defend and she is very confident she would be able to do that,

“I feel pretty confident that I would be able to fight in both divisions and stay pretty active.”

Seo Hee Ham is a former Rizin 108lbs champion, Road FC 105lbs champion and Deep-Jewels 105lbs champion. Her eight fight winning streak has encompassed victories over some of the best fighters in the division.

It is a fight Lee clearly wants in 2023. If she can win the strawweight title on Saturday it could be one of many title matches awaiting the 26 year old next year.