The ONE atomweight world champion Angela Lee has been featured in Muscle and Fitness magazine, where she discussed motherhood and being a champion in MMA.
Angela Lee is just coming off the biggest win of her career. After a long layoff to have a child, she returned to the ONE circle to face top contender Stamp Fairtex and defended her title.
Lee commented on this layoff and comeback when she spoke with Muscle & Fitness:
“Being a first-time mom, I did not know what to expect. How would my body be after I gave birth? How much time would it take to get back into the swing of things? I was trying to research other fighters that were moms as well… I did step on the mats and train but I had limitations. It was very frustrating for me because before I was pregnant, I had defended my title for the fourth time. I’m so glad I didn’t push things and rush things too quickly because there was a really high chance that I could have injured myself and pushed [my progress] back many months.”
Stamp is a two-sport world champion, having held titles in kickboxing and Muay Thai, and she also captured the atomweight Grand Prix title in 2021 by defeating Ritu Phogat. Angela Lee passed this test by enduring an early onslaught and eventually submitting the Thai-born challenger in the second round. Lee has now defended her title in five fights.
Watch Angela Lee vs. Stamp Fairtex below:
Angela Lee on struggling and recovery
She may be a world titleholder, but she still struggles with confidence at times. Lee stepped away from the sport for nearly three years, and in that time, she had a baby.
Stepping back into the gym to get ready for a world title defense was no easy task. It wasn’t her body that was struggling, but her mind. Lee said:
“In MMA, in combat sports, in sports in general, I really think that it’s 90% mental. This past fight camp, I struggled so much with that. Just gaining my confidence back, because it had been a while since I stepped out of the cage. A lot happened in that time… You could really see my whole shift in mindset from the beginning of camp, to the mid-camp, to the end of camp, and then when I arrived in Singapore on fight week there was no doubt in my mind that I knew what I was there to do and I knew that I could do it.”
After some time away and having a child, she submitted the challenger for her title, Stamp Fairtex. Angela Lee is next seeking to finish a trilogy against ONE women’s strawweight champion Xiong Jing Nan. The two fighters are tied 1-1 in their series.
The next ONE Championship event is ONE 157, which will be broadcast live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, May 20.