A few people were surprised when Angela Lee was handed a strawweight title shot and Xiong Jing Nan was one of them. The Chinese fighter does not think that her opponent at ONE on Prime Video 2 deserves to be challenging for her belt.

The two have fought twice and share a win apiece. But Lee has never won a fight at strawweight and Xiong and admits she was ‘upset’ to find out she would be defending her belt against the Hawaiian,

“The first time I found out that (Lee) was coming back to my division, I was a little bit upset because she had already lost twice at my level, including to Michele Nicolini.”

Xiong is not against the idea of facing Lee for a third time. But she wanted to move down in weight to challenge Lee for her atomweight title,

“At her weight, I lost once, so I thought I would fight there next. But it’s no big deal. It’s all the same. I want to win, it’s as simple as that. I’m not excited, I just want to beat her.”

 

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Winning and losing

The loss to Lee was Xiong’s first since signing for ONE Championship. The Chinese fighter would subsequently relocate to Evolve MMA in Singapore and admits that defeat taught her some valuable lessons,

“The second time we met I ended up losing. For me, even though I was sad, it was a good sadness, because I wasn’t too happy despite winning the first match. Losing was a good thing for me because I could see more of my shortcomings.”

For Xiong winning and losing are not the only factors to take into consideration when assessing past performances. The reigning strawweight champion thinks that the lessons she can take away from every fight are more valuable than the result,

“I don’t think it’s the winning or losing of a game that matters. What matters in the outcome is what you learn. To be able to see where you’re lacking, and to know yourself more clearly.”

Second belt

Lee is the reigning atomweight champion and will be looking to win a second belt this month. Xiong has held the strap since 2018 and has successfully defended it six times.

The champion recently made a successful comeback after the birth of her first child. Lee submitted Stamp Fairtex in the second round and Xiong thinks that becoming a mother will have made her upcoming opponent even more motivated,

“I was asked in a previous interview whether Angela Lee would be back to her original form after having a baby or whether her form might be bad. I said, ‘definitely her form will be better than before because she’s in a new capacity as a mother. She’ll try harder to move forward and make herself a better role model for the child’.”

Body shot

In the first fight Xiong effectively finished lee with a body shot late in the final round. Stamp also had success targeting the Hawaiian’s midsection but the Chinese star cannot guarantee she will be able to find the finish again,

“Of course, I’d like to get the knockout and I want to give a KO in a beautiful way. But you have to know that no one can predict the outcome in the circle.”

The two previous fights have both produced fifth round finishes. The two fighters have already shared the cage for the best part of an hour but the strawweight champion warns that she has improved since their last meeting in 2019,

“I believe that she knows me very well, and I know her very well. But I’m happy that I’m not the same Xiong Jing Nan. I’m improving and I’m changing, so I think it will be a very good match to watch.”