WATCH: Angela Lee’s emotional reveal to Ham Seo Hee backstage that she is relinquishing atomweight belt and retiring
Former ONE women’s atomweight MMA world champion ‘Unstoppable’ Angela Lee shocked the martial arts world last week by officially announcing her retirement from professional fighting.
The 27-year-old Singaporean-American superstar walked out to the ONE Championship Circle just moments before the main event at ONE Fight Night 14 in Singapore between former ONE atomweight Muay Thai and kickboxing world champion Stamp Fairtex, and no.2-ranked atomweight MMA contender Ham Seo Hee.
Lee brought her ONE Championship gold into the Circle for the very last time and symbolically placed it in the middle of the canvas to make her retirement official.
However, it was recently revealed that even prior to Lee’s public retirement, ‘Unstoppable’ had already informed both main event competitors of her decision to hang up her gloves.
In a recent Instagram post shared by ONE Championship, Lee can be seen visiting Ham backstage, sharing news of her retirement with the South Korean veteran.
Check out the post below:
Lee said in the video:
“I just wanted to be the one to tell you that tomorrow, I’m going to be officially announcing my retirement,” Lee told Ham. “And so your fight with Stamp is going to be for the real belt. I’m gonna be cheering for you guys to have a good fight tomorrow. This news, I don’t want it to change anything. You’re gonna go into the fight with the same mindset and game plan.”
Ham visibly teared up with Lee’s revelation and said:
“I thought Angela would return,” Ham said through a translator. “I’m very sad to hear that this experience has caused her to leave our sport. It’s a loss for the world, the fact that ONE Championship is losing such a great woman competitor.”
An emotional Lee replied:
“I wish I could have been able to return, but my heart, I cannot anymore.”
Stamp defeated Ham via third-round technical knockout to capture the vacant atomweight strap and become an unprecedented three-sport ONE world champion. Lee personally congratulated the Thai superstar in an emotional belt ceremony.
Fans in the United States and Canada can catch all the action of ONE Fight Night 14 via replay on demand on Amazon Prime Video.