Who should challenge the atomweight queen? 3 possible opponents for Angela Lee's next match

Angela Lee continues to rule over ONE Championship's atomweight division. [Photo ONE Championship]
Angela Lee continues to rule over ONE Championship's atomweight division. [Photo ONE Championship]
Vince Richards

To say that Angela Lee burst into the scene would be a massive understatement.

Lee is the first and still the only holder of the ONE women’s atomweight world title and it seems that no one in ONE Championship has found the answer in dethroning the atomweight queen.

‘Unstoppable’ is a true personification of her nickname and she’s been an absolute wrecking ball when it comes to defending her belt. She’s beaten the likes of Mei Yamaguchi, Stamp Fairtex, and ONE women's strawweight world champion Xiong Jing Nan in her lengthy reign atop the division.

Her latest defense saw her survive a tornado of strikes from Stamp before dragging the Thai superstar into the deep waters of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, where she secured a second-round submission win.

Angela Lee is 11-2 in her professional career with all of her matches being fought in ONE Championship. Of those total 11 wins, nine were finishes, with eight of those being submission victories.

With such a devastating record and reputation, there are a handful of women who are looking to knock off Lee from her throne.

Here are three potential fighters who could take on Angela Lee as she continues her incredible run in the sport.

#3. Ham Seo Hee vs. Angela Lee

Ham Seo Hee could very well face Angela Lee for the ONE women’s atomweight world title in the future. Even the champion knows that a showdown against the South Korean veteran is inevitable.

Ham jumped to the No.2-ranked spot in the women’s atomweight rankings when she dominated rival Denice Zamboanga at ONE X in March this year. It was on the same card that Lee made her fifth successful defense of her belt when she submitted Stamp in the main event.

While there’s no official word yet on their potential fight, both Angela Lee and Ham have expressed their desire to throw down and it seems that all that’s needed for this bout to take place is the proper announcement.

Lee, who began her reign in May 2016, said after her victory at ONE X that she’d love to fight Ham in the future. Ham, meanwhile, shared the same sentiment as Lee. She took to Instagram to respond to Lee’s willingness to fight her and slid in a bit of a threat.

“Thank you for the kind words. You’re a great champion and I respect you a lot. See you very soon.”

#2. Tiffany Teo vs. Angela Lee

Tiffany Teo has beaten pretty much everyone ONE Championship positioned across from her and she’s now mulling a move to atomweight.

Teo is one of the best strawweights in ONE Championship and featured in two brutal wars against ONE women’s strawweight world champion Xiong in 2020 and 2018.

The Singaporean star’s most recent match saw her score a second-round submission win over China’s Meng Bo in January this year.

It was after her submission win over Meng that ‘No Chill’ hinted at a move to atomweight. With a stellar 6-2 record at strawweight, including four finishes, Teo’s move to a lighter division is sure to elicit shockwaves.

A former title challenger, it can be argued that Teo can immediately take on Lee in her first fight in atomweight.

Teo has three submission wins and one knockout victory to her name in ONE Championship, proving her finishing capabilities at the elite level of mixed martial arts.

Angela Lee always found a way to impose her grappling against anyone she faced, but Teo could very well be a foil to the longtime champion’s impressive submission skills.

#1. Xiong Jing Nan vs. Angela Lee

It’s the trilogy that has to happen. Angela Lee and Xiong are the best women’s MMA fighters in ONE Championship and both hold one win against each other.

Their wins against each other also encapsulated the fighting style they’ve used to rule over their respective divisions.

Xiong successfully defended her ONE women’s strawweight world title when she knocked Lee out in the fifth round of their March 2019 bout in Tokyo, Japan.

Lee returned the favor in October of that same year, and the same city, when she submitted Xiong in the fifth round to retain her ONE women’s atomweight world title.

Of the women that Lee has fought inside the circle, it can be argued that none could be more dangerous than Xiong.

‘The Panda’ is 8-1 in ONE Championship and her mark of seven title wins is the third-most in the organization behind Bibiano Fernandes’ 11 and Adriano Moraes’ eight.

Since Lee and Xiong fought each other in atomweight and strawweight, the division in their potential third title fight between the two superstars is practically a toss-up.

A third fight between Lee and Xiong has the potential to be the greatest match in ONE Championship history. Not just in terms of notoriety, but the way they fight is just some of the most brutal in the organization.

Xiong is one of the most devastating strikers in the promotion, with the Chinese superstar using a boxing and MMA base to dominate her opponents. Angela Lee, meanwhile, is one of the most dangerous grapplers in ONE Championship and her eight submission wins can attest to that reputation.

Bonus: Danielle Kelly vs. Angela Lee (submission grappling)

Dans have been clamoring for it and the fighter herself has been wishing for it.

Danielle Kelly taking on Angela Lee in a submission grappling match could just be one of the most highly-anticipated BJJ matches in ONE Championship history.

While Lee’s fought primarily in MMA, her grappling credentials are something to behold. Lee not only submits people, but she forces them to tap in the most creative of ways.

Angela Lee pulled off one of the hardest submission maneuvers in BJJ when she submitted Natalie Gonzales Hills with a twister in just her third professional fight. The mom-champ nearly got the second twister submission win of her career when she faced Stamp at ONE X, but the Thai superstar managed to survive the devastating hold.

Kelly, meanwhile, showed impressive resolve and composure when she faced Mei Yamaguchi in her debut fight at ONE X. While her match against Yamaguchi ended in a draw, Kelly successfully announced her presence on the big stage.

A seasoned BJJ artist, Kelly holds the fastest win in Who’s Number One when she tapped-out Jessica Crane via knee bar in three minutes. Kelly also holds a submission grappling victory over UFC women’s strawweight world champion Carla Esparza back in 2021.

Edited by Harvey Leonard


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