Earlier in May, Angela Lee won the inaugural ONE women’s atomweight title. On Thursday, it was announced the 19-year-old had signed a bumper new pay deal, which will potentially make her the highest paid teenager in the history of the sport.
Although no figures were revealed, ONE Championship chairman Chatri Sityodtong announced that Lee would be earning more than UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk or Invicta FC featherweight titleholder Cris “Cyborg” Justino. The former is on an estimated purse of $60,000 ($30,000 to show, $30,000 win bonus), while the latter earned a disclosed $110,000 ($55,000 to show $55,000, win bonus) for her most recent fight. Those numbers, of course, don’t include any sponsorships or discretionary bonuses.
Lee doesn’t turn 20 until later this year and only made her pro MMA debut in May of 2015. She currently holds a record of 6-0 and is already one of ONE Championship’s top earners, according to a facebook post by Sityodtong.
“I am pleased to announce that ONE Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee‘s new contract now makes her one of the world’s highest-paid female athletes in the entire sport of MMA for any organization. Without going into details due to confidentiality reasons, she is also now in the top 5 highest paid fighters – man or woman – in ONE Championship. At only 19 years old, she is already one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet. And without a doubt, she is the best in the world in her weight class.”
UFC welterweight Sage Northcutt was still 19 when he earned a disclosed $80,000 for submitting Cody Pfister last December, but if Lee fights again before her twentieth birthday, which falls on July 8, she will beat this record and become the highest paid teenager in MMA history.
According to Sityodtong, she is the fifth highest earner on the ONE Championship roster. The promotion doesn’t disclose purses, but the four fighters who make more per fight than Lee are almost certainly Shinya Aoki, Bibiano Fernandes, Brandon Vera, and Ben Askren.
Given her age and potential, Lee is likely to achieve much more in her MMA career and it seems she will be handsomely rewarded. As part of his facebook post, Sityodtong paid tribute to the ability and mentality of the teenager.
“Angela is the single best female martial artist that I have ever seen in my life in terms of talent, skills, heart, cardio, and gameness. She can strike. She can wrestle. She can roll. She can scramble. She can transition. She can finish. Above all, Angela has heart. She was born for this.”
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