Cover Photographed by Michelle Mishina, March 2022, Tatler Singapore

The reigning champion faced down hot favourite Stamp Fairtex in her first match since giving birth

It was a night Singapore will remember for a long time to come after Angela Lee dominated Thai challenger Stamp Fairtex in the main event of One X on Saturday night after a two-year absence and the birth of her first child.

Don’t miss: Face Off: Meet Angela Lee and Stamp Fairtex, Two of One Championship’s Grittiest and Most Talented Athletes

All eyes were glued to the One X headliners as they faced off at the Singapore Indoor Stadium where Lee, who started strong from the get go, received a crippling body shot from Fairtex.

It looked like it would be the end for Lee, but in an impressive display of strength, the champion powered through it to drag Fairtex to the mat where she threatened with submissions and ground and pound until the first round concluded. 

“That body shot hurt,” Lee admitted in her post-fight interview. “But I can tell you that the contractions that I went through when I was in labour hurt more than that.”

Lee and Fairtex took to the ring once again in round two where Lee initiated another tie-up early by flinging Stamp to the mat. 

She quickly overwhelmed her opponent though with a series of arm triangles, arm bars and chokes.

At one point, looking to secure a victory, Lee even threatened a twister, one of the most difficult submissions in MMA.

Don’t miss: Tiffany Teo, One of the World’s Best Female Martial Artists, on Her Victorious Return to the Cage

While Fairtex held out and handled the transitions well, the One Women’s atomweight world champion eventually managed to flatten her and began to try for a rear-naked choke. 

With just 10 nail-biting seconds on the clock, Lee slid her left arm under her foe’s neck to elicit the tap and took the World Championship gold. 

“I just kept fighting until the very, very end. I knew I had it, I was close to finishing and I didn’t want to chance it. I squeezed it, I held it, and I was able to get the finish near the end of round two,” Lee said. 

“This moment right here is a dream come true for me,” she continued. “I wanted to be a world champion. I accomplished that in 2016. Today, I became the first-ever mum champ in One Championship.”

Dedicating her win to her daughter, Lee proudly balanced her baby, Ava Marie, on her hip as she conducted interviews and celebrated her big win post-fight.

“This little girl right here is the reason you guys saw the best performance from me. I trained harder than ever and pushed myself more than ever. Because of her and because of my amazing team—United MMA and United BJJ—I transformed into the World Champion you see today.  So thank you, Ava Marie. Mama did it for you, baby girl,” she gushed. 

While momentous on its own, Lee’s win was made even more spectacular because it is the first win she has had since she defended her title with a submission win over strawweight champion Xiong Jingnan in 2019.

For her win last night, Lee earned a US$50,000 performance bonus from One Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.

Fairtex on the other hand, who previously held One’s atomweight Muay Thai and kickboxing titles, is now in the loss column.


10 Years of One Championship: Chatri Sityodtong and Hua Fung Teh on the Organisation’s Success and What to Expect at One X

Meet Jessica Ramella, the Winner of The Apprentice: One Championship Edition

The Apprentice: One Championship Edition Contestants—Where Are They Now?

A resource for women to become their best selves, Front & Female celebrates trailblazers and tackles timely, provocative issues through inspiring content and events. Join the community by subscribing to our newsletter and following #frontandfemale

© 2022 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.