Ahead of her rescheduled bout with Elene Pashnina at ONE: Odyssey of Champions, Angela Lee returned to her roots. The 19-year-old has been training in Singapore for the first time and the move proved so successful that she has was offered a permanent spot on the Evolve MMA fight team.
Lee’s father is from Singapore and she made her professional debut there earlier this year, stopping experienced Egyptian Aya Saber in the opening round. It was an impressive performance from the teenager, who says it was a moment she will always treasure.
“It was awesome. My pro debut was definitely my most memorable experience of my martial arts career so far. All of my family is from Singapore and I feel like it’s a second home to me.”
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Although Lee had never previously tasted professional competition, she has a glittering array of silverware. She’s a multiple-time Pankration world champion, a state wrestling champion, and an amateur MMA champion, who also holds a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
“I grew up as a mat baby and started training mixed martial arts when I was 3 years old. My dad initially taught me martial arts for self defense purposes. However, as the years progressed, I fell in love with the sport and I knew that this was something that I wanted to pursue.”
Lee’s family owns a martial arts academy in Hawaii, but she will be preparing for all her future fights in Singapore after joining Evolve MMA.
“Everyone at Evolve is so friendly and hospitable. I really love the environment. They also have some of the best instructors in the world and an amazing facility,” she said.
She was initially invited for a trial along with her brother Christian and was delighted when both were invited to join the fight team.
“It was a very proud moment for me because I went through all of the tests, trials, and tribulations, and came out victorious. It’s definitely an honor to become a member of the Evolve Fight Team and to be training alongside fighters like Shinya Aoki and learning from world champions in Muay Thai, boxing, and BJJ, as well as MMA.”
Becoming a world champion in MMA is the goal for Lee and she got her pro career off to the best possible start by beating Saber. Next up is a fight with Pashnina, a Russian Sanda specialist, which was originally scheduled for Sept. 1 in Beijing, but will now be taking place on Sept. 27 in Jakarta.
Lee’s opponent is based permanently in China, but the teenager admits that Pashnina is something of an unknown quantity.
“I don’t know a lot about Elena. I respect all of my opponents and I never underestimate or overlook anyone. I’m really looking forward to this fight with Elena and I can promise you that it’s going to be another very exciting match.”
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