Angela Lee stayed perfect on Saturday night, outclassing previously unbeaten Jenny Huang to preserve her undefeated record and defend the ONE Championship atomweight title with a third-round stoppage in the main event of ONE Championship: Warrior Kingdom at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
The result was never in doubt for Lee (7-0), a 20-year-old titleholder who has been tapped as one of the faces of ONE Championship. Showcasing a new aspect to her game, the normally submission-oriented Lee dramatically outstruck Huang (5-1) throughout the opening two rounds, battering her with combinations of straight punches and body kicks from distance, then pummeling Huang with hard knees from the clinch whenever the two closed the distance. Lee seemed to badly hurt Huang several times, including a harrowing first-round sequence that saw Huang rattled with a pinpoint left hand.
Lee finally sealed the deal in the third round, securing the first takedown of the fight with a snapdown from the clinch, then twisting the 26-year-old from Chinese Taipei into knots as Lee trapped Huang’s left arm behind her back and unloaded with punches from top position. Sensing the moment, Lee deftly sunk in both hooks and transitioned into back control, then coaxed a reluctant tapout from Huang under a hailstorm of devastating ground and pound. The official time of the stoppage was 3:37 of the third round.
When asked about her improved stand-up game, Lee — who has not competed since May 2016 — remarked after the fight, “I’ve had some time to work on it because I haven’t fought in a while, so it feels really great. It feels like I’m back home here in the ONE Championship cage.”
With the win, the young prospect makes the first successful defense of her ONE atomweight title and extends her unbeaten streak in the ONE cage to seven straight.
In the night’s co-main event, hometown lightweight Shannon Wiratchai (7-1, 1 NC) pulled off an electric victory over Malaysia’s Richard Corminal (4-2), stopping Corminal with a flurry of first-round bombs. After surviving an early knockdown, Wiratchai cracked Corminal with a counter right hand that put him on shaky legs, then rushed inside and swarmed Corminal with series of winging hooks that forced referee Yuji Shimada to intervene at 3:37 of the opening round.
Afterward, Wiratchai — a winner of four straight inside the ONE cage — called for a title shot against the victor of next month’s lightweight championship fight between titleholder Eduard Folayang and challenger Ev Ting.
Elsewhere on the card, 21-year-old Filipino prospect Joshua Pacio (9-1) warded off a furious late charge from former ONE men’s strawweight champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke (6-2) to eke out a split decision win.
Pacio controlled the action for the first two rounds, scoring takedowns and smothering Amnuaysirichoke under a buffet of punches and top control. The ex-champion Amnuaysirichoke nearly mounted a feverish comeback in the final frame, battering Pacio with hard strikes while stopping all of Pacio’s takedown attempts, but ultimately it was too little, too late, as Pacio rebounded from his recent title loss by picking up the split decision victory.
In early results, Thailand’s Yodsanan Sityodtong (3-1) outlasted Ramon Gonzales (1-2) to win a wild contest via verbal submission due to exhaustion, Thai debutant Riki Ishige (1-0) powered through Malaysian atomweight Audreylaura Boniface (0-1) with a first-round TKO, decorated Muay Thai champion Sagetdao Petpayathai (1-0) bested Malaysian featherweight Kelvin Ong (1-1) with a flurry of first-round strikes from the clinch, and Chinese featherweight prospect Ma Jia Wen (4-2) trucked through Indonesia’s Yohan Mulia Legowo (8-6) via first-round TKO in the opening bout of Saturday’s main card.