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ONE Championship's Angela Lee shrugs off Michelle Waterson, aims to beat Mei Yamaguchi again

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ONE Championship women’s atomweight titleholder Angela Lee doesn’t care what UFC fighters think of her.

She shrugs at a recent interview given by UFC strawweight standout Michelle Waterson, who downplayed Lee’s skills relative to octagon combatants.

“It doesn’t bother me too much, because I have supreme confidence in myself and knowing what I’m capable of as a fighter,” said Lee (8-0), who next rematches Mei Yamaguchi (16-10-1) at ONE Championship 65 on Nov. 24 at Singapore Indoor Stadium. “I think a lot of the UFC fighters and a lot of the girls that come over to Singapore, they like to talk a lot. That’s what they’re supposed to do, because they’re with a different organization.

“But if you were to put us inside the cage together, I think it would be a different story.”

Lee, who’s now beaten eight straight opponents to open her pro career, has bigger things to worry about. She’s one of the youngest champions to compete in a major MMA promotion. She’s growing into a star in Asia and is a role model for the sport.

Perhaps most importantly, she’s growing more confident in her ability to compete with the the best fighters in the world. Now, she aims to prove how far she’s come by taking out her toughest opponent in Yamaguchi.

The first time they met, it was a back-and-forth affair, with Lee and Yamaguchi almost finishing each other on several occasions.

Since then, Lee said she’s worked out a lot of the kinks in her game. But mostly, she’s been bolstered by more experience in the cage.

“I think a lot of improvements have been made in the mental and emotional aspect of the fight game,” Lee said. “I think I’ve had a lot more time to mature a little bit more as a fighter, to deal with those nerves a lot better.

“I think that’s going to be the biggest change. Because dealing with that is going to make all the difference in my performance.”

Lee jumped at the chance to rematch Yamaguchi, who’s gone 1-1 since that first scrap.

“I’ve watched the fight countless times, and the third round, I came out flat and I had my hands down and she caught me,” she said. “There’s so many things I can learn from that fight. I’ve definitely tightened up on a lot of my submissions. I improved on my striking, and you’re going to see it come together very nicely.

“After our first fight, I knew that the fans would want a rematch. I knew that ONE would put us together again. So both of us have had a few fights, and I think now is the perfect time for us to step in the cage and see how this plays out.”

For more on ONE Championship 65, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.



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