Category Archives: Mei Yamaguchi

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.

Filed under: News
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.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie

ONE Championship 56 results: Aung La N Sang claims middleweight title in rematch with Vitaly Bigdash

Aung La N Sang gave Vitaly Bigdash an early beating in today’s “ONE Championship 56: Light of a Nation” headliner. That was all the Myanmar native needed. He rode the momentum of the early high all the way to the end and claimed the middleweight championship to send the crowd into frenzy.

The championship bout between Sang (20-10) and Bigdash (9-1), which served as the main event of the online pay-per-view card at Thuwunna National Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar, was a rematch of an exciting matchup from ONE Championship 51 in January, which Bigdash won by unanimous decision.

The rematch didn’t produce the same level of thrilling moments over five rounds, and the final outcome was a different one. Sang exacted some revenge with the unanimous decision to hand Bigdash his first career loss.

Sang had Bigdash in more trouble in the rematch than any point in the first fight. He dropped the Russian with a massive strike early in the opening round and essentially kept Bigdash in a desperate defensive mode for the majority of the five-minute frame.

Bigdash showed inspiring durability and composure, and successfully got himself back in the fight as time wore on. Sang expended a lot of energy searching for the early stoppage, and despite being hurt badly, Bigdash displayed superior conditioning to his opponent.

Sang never allowed Bigdash to run away with the fight, though, and despite giving up numerous takedowns in the latter portion of the contest, his early work ultimately made the difference. ONE Championship prioritizes damage and the threat of a stoppage higher than anything else in its scoring criteria, and while an argument can be made Bigdash’s takedowns would have given him the win under the unified rules, Sang was declared the victor under the given ruleset.

The crowd was jubilant following Sang’s title win. He’s engaged in 50 total minutes of fighting against Bigdash, with a trilogy likely on the horizon. That’s no problem for Sang, though. “The Burmese Python” said he’s willing to put his belt on the line against all comers.

“I cannot do this without God, I cannot do this without my teammates, I cannot do this without you, Myanmar,” Sang said in his post-fight interview. “I’m not talented, I’m not good, I’m not fast. With you I have courage and strength to win a world title. Myanmar, how does that sound? You have a world champion. Thank you all for your love and support. I will never quit, I will keep fighting and I will take on any challenger.”

Yamaguchi rebounds with slick submission

Patience was key in Mei Yamaguchi’s (16-10-1) bout with Jenny Huang (5-2). She prioritized position over submission for more than eight minutes, but when the opening arrived to finish the fight with a rear-naked choke, she did not miss out.

Yamaguchi rebounded from a two-fight losing skid and winless 2016 when she essentially overwhelmed Huang with superior grappling en route to the second-round submission.

Youth can often be an advantage in MMA, but in this scenario the experience of Yamaguchi, 34, was obvious against a younger foe with far fewer fights. Huang made several carless errors in the fight, such as dropping for a guillotine choke which allowed Yamaguchi to get on top, take the back and force the tap at the 4:00 mark of Round 2.

With the win, Yamaguchi puts herself in position for a potential future rematch with ONE Championship atomweight titleholder Angela Lee, who she battled in a memorable 2016 “Fight of the Year” candidate at ONE Championship 42.

Pucci batters Yabo for first-round finish

Jimmy Yabo (5-5) was absolutely no match for Bruno Pucci (5-2) when it came to a grappling situation. The end result was a one-sided featherweight fight and TKO victory for Pucci.

The performance from Pucci was short and sweet. He put Yabo on his back seconds after the fight began, and within a flash was in mount. He unleashed a seemingly endless stream of punches to Yabo, who was simply trying to survive, before the referee prevented any further punishment by waving off the contest at the 2:12 mark of Round 2.

Nyo scores 16-second KO

Tha Pyay Nyo (4-0) remained undefeated in MMA competition with his most impressive victory yet, finishing Htet Aung Oo (0-1) with a perfectly placed punch just 16 seconds into their bantamweight fight.

The win swift and clean. Nyo set his opponent up with the jab, waited a beat for Aung Oo to throw a shot in return, then came over the op with a massive right hand to the chin. Aung Oo crumpled to the canvas immediately and Nyo put the exclamation point on the performance with an extra shot to his downed opponent before the referee stepped in.

ONE Championship 56 results:

  • Aung La N Sang def. Vitaly Bigdash via unanimous decision – to win middleweight title
  • Saw Min Min def. Shwe Kyaung Tahr via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 1:43 – flyweight tournament final
  • Mei Yamaguchi def. Jenny Huang via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:00
  • Bruno Pucci def. Jimmy Yabo via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:12
  • Tha Pyay Nyo def. Htet Aung Oo via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 0:16
  • Kevin Chung vs. Zhong Qingya via TKO (knees) – Round 2, 3:37

For more on ONE Championship 56, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie

ONE Championship 56 additions include Jenny Huang vs. Mei Yamaguchi, flyweight tourney

The fight card is taking shape for this month’s “ONE Championship 56: Light of a Nation” event.

As previously announced, the event takes place June 30 at Thuwunna National Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar, and it streams as an online pay-per-view in North America with a headliner between middleweight champion Vitaly Bigdash (9-0) and Aung La N Sang (19-10).

Officials today announced the card also features Jenny Huang (5-1), whose only career loss came to atomweight champion Angela Lee in her most recent bout, against fellow ex-title challenger and vet Mei Yamaguchi (15-10-1).

Additionally, Brazilian jiu-jisu black belt Bruno Pucci (4-2), who’s earned all of his wins via rear-naked choke, takes on fellow featherweight Jimmy Yabo (5-4).

Other bouts include featherweights Tha Pyay Nyo (3-0) vs. Htet Aung Oo (0-0) and Kevin Chung (4-0) vs. Zhong Qingya (0-0).

Additionally, ONE Championship 56 features a Myanmar flyweight tournament with Saw Min Min (0-0) vs. Tun Lwin Moe (0-0) and Ye Thway Ne (0-1) vs. Pat Kyaw Lin Naing (0-0) in the opening round/semifinals. Shwe Kyaung Thar (0-0) meets Ye Yint Thway (0-0) in tourney-reserve bout.

The latest ONE Championship 56 card includes:

  • Champ Vitaly Bigdash vs. Aung La N Sang – for middleweight title
  • Jenny Huang vs. Mei Yamaguchi
  • Bruno Pucci vs. Jimmy Yabo
  • Tha Pyay Nyo vs. Htet Aung Oo
  • Kevin Chung vs. Zhong Qingya
  • Saw Min Min vs. Tun Lwin Moe – flyweight tournament opening round
  • Ye Thway Ne vs. Pat Kyaw Lin Naing – flyweight tournament opening round
  • Shwe Kyaung Thar vs. Ye Yint Thway – flyweight tournament reserve bout

For the latest on ONE Championship 56, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie