ONE Championship titleholder Angela Lee says she fell asleep prior to horrific car accident

Angela Lee has apologized for a horrific car accident that forced her out of a scheduled ONE Championship title defense.

Her update should also serve as a warning about driving while tired.

Lee (8-0), a 21-year-old Hawaiian-based Canadian who’s held ONE Championship’s atomweight belt since May 2016, was forced to pull out of an upcoming fight with challenger Mei Yamaguchi (16-10-1), which was slated for “ONE Championship 65: Immortal Pursuit” on Nov. 24 in Singapore.

ONE Championship officials announced the accident earlier this week, and we saw a photo of Lee’s mangled Audi (via Twitter):

In a message posted this morning on Instagram, Lee said she fell asleep at the wheel during an early-morning drive to practice, and she apologized to fans and Yamaguchi for the accident.

Here’s the full message (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

“On Monday November 6, 2017 I was in a car accident.
I woke up early (4:30am) to drive to my gym, which is 5 minutes from my house and in a blink of an eye… I dozed off, woke up and the next thing I️ knew, my car had hit the guardrail and flipped over about 6 times.
I️ am so grateful that no one else was hurt. It’s also a miracle that I’m still here today, alive and well.
I️ admit that I️ shouldn’t have been driving if I️ was tired… At the time however, I️ was not aware of how tired I️ really was. This incident was truly an eye opener. Like every obstacle or adversity in life, I️ will face it and I will overcome it. I️ will learn from it and it will be used as a lesson. I️ want to personally thank each and every person for their love, support and words of encouragement during this time.
I️ want to send an apology to my opponent, Mei Yamaguchi, the fans looking forward to the fight and my organization, ONE Championship. It was not my intention to withdraw from this fight and I️ will be back. Although I️ will not be fighting on the 24 November card in Singapore, I️ will still be in attendance, showing my support.
In closing, I️ would like to say that physically I️ may look a little banged up but I️ know that these scars and bruises will heal rather fast. The majority of my time spent healing will be focused more on my emotional and spiritual state of mind. I️ appreciate your patience & understanding during this time.
With love,
Angela”

Lee didn’t give a time table for her possible return to the cage, where she will look for her third straight title defense.

For more on ONE Championship 65, visit the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

ONE Championship's Angela Lee involved in car accident; upcoming title defense off

ONE Championship atomweight titleholder Angela Lee was involved in a car accident Monday.

ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong broke the news in a Facebook post that detailed Lee’s car flipped over five or six times, according to police in Oahu, Hawaii:

“ONE Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee got into a terrible car accident yesterday with her car flipping over 5-6x according to the police. She was driving to her morning training at the gym when she fell asleep. Miraculously, she survived with only a concussion, some minor burns, and a banged up body. If she was not wearing a seatbelt, it would have most certainly been a different story. I saw photos of the damaged car, and it was a complete wreck. Angela will not be competing on November 24. We are all blessed and relieved that Angela will make a full recovery. It is a reminder for all of us that life is so fragile and that we must treasure our loved ones every day. Please join me in sending love, prayers, and positive energy to Angela and her family.”

Rob DeMello of KHON shared a photo of Lee’s vehicle on Twitter that shows extensive damage to the front passenger’s side.

Lee’s father, Ken Lee, said “it’s truly a miracle that she survived” in a statement provided to KHON:

“My daughter was in a very serious accident yesterday. It is truly a miracle that she survived. We are so blessed that God laid his hand of protection over her.

“Angela’s car hit a guardrail on the highway. The axle snapped and the car flipped 5-6 times over 100 yards and landed on the opposite side of the highway, according to the police.

“Our family would like to thank everyone for your sincere thoughts and prayers. Angela is now at home recovering and will be okay.”

The 21-year-old Lee (8-0) was scheduled to rematch Mei Yamaguchi (16-10-1) at “ONE Championship 65: Immortal Pursuit” on Nov. 24 in Singapore. As a result of her car accident, Lee, who was looking for her third straight title defense, has been pulled from the bout.

It’s not known if officials are seeking a possible replacement opponent for Yamaguchi.

The card also features the retirement fight of welterweight champion Ben Askren, which figures to be elevated to the main event. Askren defends his belt against Andrew Leone.

For more on ONE Championship 65, visit the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

ONE Championship's November lineup? Open-weight fight, champ-vs.champ, retirement title bout

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By all measures, November could be the biggest month for ONE Championship, which boasts a handful of can’t-miss fights.

The Asian promotion recently released the above trailer to highlight the November slate of events and fights.

Here’s what’s on tap for the shows, all of which stream as online pay-per-views in North America:

Nov. 3 – “ONE Championship 63: Hero’s Dream” at Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar

In the headliner, which is billed as “the world champion vs. the giant,” middleweight titleholder Aung La N Sang (20-10) takes on muay Thai heavyweight champion Alain Ngalani (3-3), who recently scored an 11-second win at ONE Championship 61.

Nov. 10 – “ONE Championship 64: Legends of the World” at Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines

The headliner is a champion-vs.-champion bout as lightweight titleholder Eduard Folayang (18-5) takes on featherweight champ Martin Nguyen (9-1). Folayang’s lightweight belt is on the line.

Nov. 24 – “ONE Championship 65: Immortal Pursuit” at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore

This card features two big title fights. In the headliner, women’s atomweight champion Angela Lee (8-0) rematches Mei Yamaguchi (16-10-1), who’s the only fighter to take the champ the distance. And in the co-headliner, 170-pound champ Ben Askren (17-0), who’s No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, fights for the final time when he takes on big-show vet and Japanese notable Shinya Aoki (39-7) in his retirement fight.

For more on ONE Championship 63, ONE Championship 64 and ONE Championship 65, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Chairman takes umbrage with UFC's 'patently false' remarks about ONE Championship fighters

On Nov. 24, ONE Championship returns to Singapore with two belts on the line and a major retirement fight. And then, on Nov. 25, the UFC lands in Shanghai with one of its all-time greats as a headliner.

At first glance, one could probably see a correlation there. But, according to ONE Championship founder and chairman Chatri Sityodtong, the date picked for their “ONE: Immortal Pursuit” event has nothing to do with the UFC’s debut in mainland China.

“We really don’t build our business around our competitors and what they’re doing,” Sityodtong said on a conference call in support of the event, which streams live online via pay-per-view from Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. We build our business for our fans, for our advertisers, for our sponsors, for our broadcasters, for our athletes, for our staff, for anyone who’s directly involved with the ONE Championship ecosystem.”

“It just so happens that we have an event on Nov. 24 and the UFC has an event I think a couple days later, whatever it is. But it’s in a different country. This is nothing that’s on my mind.”

Still, Sityodtong isn’t shy about defending some of their own athletes compared to those of other promotions. Asked about undefeated champion Ben Askren, who’s set to have his retirement fight in the headlining bout, Sityodtong said he would still like to see him cement his legacy as the best 170-pounder in MMA history by testing himself against one of the UFC’s titleholders.

So long, Sityodtong clarified, as that person isn’t the UFC’s current 170-pound leader Tyron Woodley – who happens to train with the One Championship kingpin at Roufusport, in Milwaukee, where Askren is also a head wrestling coach.

“If you ask people who are in the know in the MMA community in America and around the world, everyone knows that Ben Askren is the single best welterweight on the planet,” Sityodtong said. “I would love to see UFC vs. One Championship welterweights go at it. Unfortunately, Tyron is also a great friend of Ben and a good friend of mine, as well. So anyone other than Tyron, I would love to see that as Ben’s final match against a UFC welterweight champion.”

At 33, Askren (17-0) has given a few reasons as to why he’s fine with his One Championship 65 battle with Shinya Aoki (39-7) being his last. But, speaking to The MMA Hour, he did leave the door open for a return under two conditions – that it’s for the No. 1 spot in the world and, again, that it isn’t against Woodley.

Sityodtong believes the promotion will have one of the greatest nights of its history with the upcoming event, which will also feature an atomweight title bout between 21-year-old champ Angela Lee (8-0) and Japanese veteran Mei Yamaguchi (16-10-1).

As Sityodtong made perfectly clear, the promotion is more focused on their own mission of celebrating “Asia’s greatest cultural treasure” in martial arts than on their competition. But that doesn’t mean they’re unaware of their competitors’ moves – or, better yet, their words.

When asked to further discuss his previous remarks about a possible matchup between Askren and a UFC titleholder, Sityodtong expressed his discontent with some of what was said in June, when UFC Fight Night 111 was brought to Singapore.

“A few months ago, the UFC threw an event in Asia, and some of the things they said to the media here were inaccurate,” Sityodtong said. “And some of them were patently false. And I felt the need to defend my athletes – whether it’s Ben Askren, whether it’s Shinya, whether it’s Angela Lee.

“They are, bar none, among the greatest martial artists on the planet, if not the greatest in their individual divisions.”

While Sityodtong didn’t really specify which remarks he was referring to, it might have something to do with former UFC executive Joe Carr’s dismissal of a cross-promotion fight with champ Lee, as reported by local outlet The Straits Times, on grounds of her being “fairways away” from competing in the UFC.

Sityodtong also went into further detail about the promotions’ influences in their respective markets. While they were fairly diplomatic, one could argue they also contrast with Carr’s remarks about the UFC’s actual influence in the Asian market.

“I think the UFC has done an amazing job in the Western hemisphere with their formula,” Sityodtong said. “And I think we’ve done an amazing job in the Eastern hemisphere with our formula. There is a global duopoly, just like any other industry.

“Just like Apple and Samsung, or General Motors and Toyota, or Amazon and Alibaba. There’s UFC and ONE Championship that control their respective hemispheres. I think that’s going to be a long time coming.

“There’s no industry, in the entire world, across any sector, where one player dominates the entire world. It never happened before in history. I don’t think it will ever happen. There’s always counterparts in two different geographic regions.”

For more on ONE Championship 65, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

ONE Championship's Angela Lee shrugs off Michelle Waterson, aims to beat Mei Yamaguchi again

ONE Championship women’s atomweight titleholder Angela Lee doesn’t care what UFC fighters think of her.

She shrugs at a recent interview given by UFC strawweight standout Michelle Waterson, who downplayed Lee’s skills relative to octagon combatants.

“It doesn’t bother me too much, because I have supreme confidence in myself and knowing what I’m capable of as a fighter,” said Lee (8-0), who next rematches Mei Yamaguchi (16-10-1) at ONE Championship 65 on Nov. 24 at Singapore Indoor Stadium. “I think a lot of the UFC fighters and a lot of the girls that come over to Singapore, they like to talk a lot. That’s what they’re supposed to do, because they’re with a different organization.

“But if you were to put us inside the cage together, I think it would be a different story.”

Lee, who’s now beaten eight straight opponents to open her pro career, has bigger things to worry about. She’s one of the youngest champions to compete in a major MMA promotion. She’s growing into a star in Asia and is a role model for the sport.

Perhaps most importantly, she’s growing more confident in her ability to compete with the the best fighters in the world. Now, she aims to prove how far she’s come by taking out her toughest opponent in Yamaguchi.

The first time they met, it was a back-and-forth affair, with Lee and Yamaguchi almost finishing each other on several occasions.

Since then, Lee said she’s worked out a lot of the kinks in her game. But mostly, she’s been bolstered by more experience in the cage.

“I think a lot of improvements have been made in the mental and emotional aspect of the fight game,” Lee said. “I think I’ve had a lot more time to mature a little bit more as a fighter, to deal with those nerves a lot better.

“I think that’s going to be the biggest change. Because dealing with that is going to make all the difference in my performance.”

Lee jumped at the chance to rematch Yamaguchi, who’s gone 1-1 since that first scrap.

“I’ve watched the fight countless times, and the third round, I came out flat and I had my hands down and she caught me,” she said. “There’s so many things I can learn from that fight. I’ve definitely tightened up on a lot of my submissions. I improved on my striking, and you’re going to see it come together very nicely.

“After our first fight, I knew that the fans would want a rematch. I knew that ONE would put us together again. So both of us have had a few fights, and I think now is the perfect time for us to step in the cage and see how this plays out.”

For more on ONE Championship 65, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

ONE Championship 65 set for Nov. 24 with Angela Lee title defense, Ben Askren retirement fight

Singapore’s ONE Championship has scheduled a home game for Nov. 24, and a pair of title fights top the bill.

Promotion officials recently announced that “ONE Championship 65: Immortal Pursuit” takes place at Singapore Indoor Stadium and features atomweight champ Angela Lee (8-0) vs. Japanese veteran Mei Yamaguchi (16-10-1), as well as welterweight champ Ben Askren (17-0) – in what is expected to serve as his final professional fight – against grappling legend Shinya Aoki (39-7).

As with all ONE Championship events, “Immortal Pursuit” streams live via online pay-per-view.

“Unstoppable” Lee, the 21-year-old rising star, captured ONE’s inaugural atomweight title with a thrilling May 2016 win over Yamaguchi and has since registered defenses over Jenny Huang and Istela Nunes. Yamaguchi was in action most recently in June, submitting Huang to earn an opportunity to relive the epic clash with Lee.

Askren is currently ranked No. 6 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings. A decorated collegiate wrestler and U.S. Olympian, Askren also earned the Bellator welterweight belt before moving on to ONE Championship. Just 33, Askren has elected to call an early end to his undefeated professional career and will now face former ONE Championship lightweight title holder Aoki, who moves up in weight for the contest.

For more on ONE Championship 65, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie