As part of ONE Championship’s burgeoning roster of world-class athletes, mixed martial arts (MMA) superstar Angela “Unstoppable” Lee is one of the promotion’s most outstanding fighters regardless of gender or weight class.
Her beautiful combination of solid striking and grappling skills has proven to be a potent formula for success as she remains unbeaten in her MMA stint with an immaculate 6-0 record.
2016 was a monumental year for Lee. At the tender age of 19, she became the youngest MMA world champion in history by defeating Japanese veteran Mei Yamaguchi in front of a sold-out crowd in his home-country of Singapore.
Lee captured the intricately-crafted ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship belt by way of hard-fought unanimous decision in a grueling five-round battle opposite Yamaguchi last May.
Aside from being an exceptional competitor inside the ONE Championship cage, Lee has also been turning heads lately as she is becoming a key figure of women empowerment in Asia.
In some parts of Asia that still operate in a predominantly patriarchal society, Lee serves as a beacon of inspiration to women all over the region who have dreams and aspirations.
With a white frangipani flower behind her ear and her highlighted hair bouncing around her shoulders, Lee has broken many social and gender barriers in her young professional MMA career.
“People keep coming up and saying that I’m an inspiration to their kids. It just makes me feel so happy. I sometimes can’t believe that’s how they look at me,” Lee said. “It’s just how I am. Having a youngster sister who is 12 years old, I am used to carrying myself in a way that someone can look up to,” Lee said.
“It’s an honor to be in this position, to have someone looking up to me. I grew up being told that I could do anything I chose to. There’s so much empowerment going. I’m just hoping to contribute to that,” she added.
As Lee continues to be the catalyst for women to understand they can truly do anything if they put their minds and hearts into it, she drumbeats another advocacy by considerably supporting Downtown Project.
Founded by American internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist Tony Hsieh in 2009, Downtown Project is dedicated to helping revitalize part of downtown Las Vegas, which has been left behind compared to the city strip's booming growth.
Through investment in small businesses such as tech startups, real estate and development as well as the creation of interest in arts, culture, and education, its goal is to help make downtown Las Vegas a place of inspiration, entrepreneurial energy, creativity, innovation, upward mobility, and discovery in a long-term and sustainable way.
“It wasn’t just about building a business. It was about building a lifestyle that was about delivering happiness to everyone, including ourselves,” Hsieh stated.
Investments in the community have generated 328 jobs within small businesses, 51 jobs in technology startups, 38 jobs in managing Downtown Project enterprises, and 571 jobs as a result of the visitors brought annually by Downtown Project.
“We want Vegas to be the four-minute mile of the world. If we can make downtown Vegas a place of inspiration, creativity and entrepreneurial energy and discovery and so on, in probably the place people would least expect it, then there's really no excuse for any other community or city," Hsieh said.
"To see kids and families walking around in a place that was previously pretty dangerous, that's progress. I'm pretty happy about that," he quipped.
Believing in the organization’s objective of making the world a better place and fostering inclusive growth for all individuals, Lee aims to channel the attention the she receives worldwide towards raising awareness of Downtown Project’s mission and activities.
“An important part of our growth and motivation as people lies in contributing to the greater good and being part of something greater than ourselves. Being a champion is not isolated inside the cage. A champion should serve as an inspiration to people who have dreams and desire change in their lives,” she said.
Signifying her support to the community, Lee will be placing Downtown Project’s insignia on her gear as she is slated to compete in the main event of ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM, which takes place at the 12,000-seater Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday, 11 March.
Lee will defend her ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship title for the first time against top contender Jenny Huang of Chinese Taipei.
The people of downtown Las Vegas will get to see Lee’s highly-anticipated title defense as Downtown Project will host a live viewing event of ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM in the community.
With a whole new audience watching her brilliance inside the cage, Lee sees it as a platform to showcase the true core of martial arts on the other side of the globe.
“There are so many misconceptions about MMA. Luckily, it's a sport that's evolving so fast. Martial arts is so much more than fighting. It really gives you self-confidence, it promotes a healthier lifestyle, and definitely there's the self-defense aspect,” she asserted.
“It is becoming widely accepted around the world. People are starting to realize that it's so much more than what it appears to be,” Lee ended.