Angela Lee will soon attempt to claim two-division gold at ONE on Prime Video 2: Xiong vs. Lee III. The United MMA representative is most confident that she will be able to accomplish the task this time around. The Hawaii-based athlete did not mince words as she flatly stated that Xiong Jing Nan has plateaued as the division’s queen.
Angela Lee Says Xiong Has Become ‘Stagnant’
Ahead of their September 30 meeting, Lee spoke to ONE Championship and was pointed with her comments. “Unstoppable” feels their ten rounds of experience against one another has allowed her to gauge Xiong’s most recent performances and sees no big improvements in her game.
“Me and Xiong Jing Nan, we’ve had 10 rounds, and we are pretty familiar with each other styles. But the one thing I can say is that I definitely feel like I’ve evolved much more as a fighter, as a mixed martial artist, and as a champion,” said Lee.
“I have gained a lot more experience since our first two encounters. So this is round 11. I know she’s a tough fighter, but I’m excited for what I’m going to be bringing to the table.”
Perhaps the most striking difference Lee has seen since their last meeting is Xiong’s lack of finishes. Lee credits this to a mindset of merely competing to retain the belt but not to improve and fully take control of the division.
“I feel like when I watched Xiong in [those recent defenses], she was not fighting to win – she was fighting not to lose. Sometimes when you’re champion for a while, you become stagnant, and you’re just fighting to keep your belt, not fighting to win and destroy every person that’s in front of you,” said Lee.
“But with that being said, I do think that she’s going to hear that, she’s going to get angry and think that she wants to make a statement in this fight. She wants to prove to everyone that, ‘No, I’m still dangerous. I’m a killer. I’m a finisher.’ And so I’m not going to be overlooking her and using her previous fights as something to base my assumptions of her on.”
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Lee was correct in that Xiong did hear those comments. “The Panda” took to Instagram to simply state her rebuttal in one sentence, “We’ll see if you are impressed when I finish you again.”
As the trilogy looms, both incredible athletes are putting the finishing touches on their camps. For Lee, she expects a distinct clash of gameplans, with Xiong trying to draw out the match into the championship rounds. However, the reigning ONE Atomweight World Champion will show up trying to make it a quick and easy night inside the Circle.
“Definitely, I’ll be looking to take her out in the early rounds, and I feel like her game plan is to take me out in later rounds. We’ll see who gets what they want,” said Lee.
ONE on Prime Video 2: Xiong vs. Lee III airs on Friday, September 30, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.