Angela Lee recalls the exact moment she decided to retire from MMA: “Everything had changed”

Angela Lee - Photo by ONE Championship
Angela Lee - Photo by ONE Championship

Former ONE women’s atomweight MMA world champion and ONE Championship legend ‘Unstoppable’ Angela Lee dropped a bombshell a couple of weeks ago, when she officially announced her retirement from professional mixed martial arts competition.

The announcement came completely out of left field, as Lee had kept outside of the public eye for months since the tragic passing of her sister, fellow ONE Championship athlete, Victoria Lee.

The younger Lee took her own life in December of 2022, and ‘Unstoppable’ has been out of action since. Then just before the main event of ONE Fight Night 14 two weeks ago, between top atomweight contenders Stamp Fairtex and Ham Seo Hee, Lee walked out to the Circle one last time and laid down her golden belt.

Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Lee talked about the exact moment she decided she was done with fighting.

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The 27-year-old Singaporean-American superstar said:

“It wasn't a single moment, I would say. Because for me, after everything had changed, I tried to do some things that I tried to do, some things like how I used to be before, like I tried to go back in the gym, tried to do a training session, and just all of these memories and mixed emotions started coming up.”
“And then I just knew that I was not in a place to put myself back in the cage and the spotlight in that kind of way and that I would be compromising my health if I were to do that so I just knew that you know my heart wasn't in it fully and if that's not an alignment then, you know, why am I doing it? So there's no reason for it [getting back into MMA after her sister’s passing].”

Lee established her non-profit organization named FightStory, in honor of her late sister Victoria, which aims to help people dealing with depression and suicide.

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Edited by Krishna Venki