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10 Female Atomweight Mixed Martial Artists That You Need To Know

Mar 7, 2020

ONE Championship has quickly established itself as the unquestioned proving ground for female mixed martial artists competing in the atomweight division.

Ever since the inauguration of the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship in May 2016, the weight class has flourished and it now features some of Asia’s best talent.

As the division continues to heat up, check out the 10 female atomweight mixed martial artists that you need to know.

Angela Lee

The reigning queen of the division is “Unstoppable” Angela Lee.

In May 2016, the Singaporean defeated Mei “V.V.” Yamaguchi in a five-round thriller to take the inaugural ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title, and she has held onto the gold ever since.

Lee, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, has successfully defended her crown four times. Most recently, the 23-year-old submitted ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan in an epic rematch last October.

Now, the Singaporean holds a remarkable 10-2 professional record with 80 percent of her victories coming inside the distance. What’s more, she is truly “unstoppable” in this weight class, as she has never lost an atomweight mixed martial arts bout.

Denice Zamboanga

enice Zamboanga defeats Mei Yamaguchi ONE KING OF THE JUNGLE in Singapore

Last month, Denice “The Menace Fairtex” Zamboanga emerged as the next challenger for Lee’s ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship – and it is a well-deserved honor.

The undefeated Filipina, who was motivated to compete in the sport by her older brother, blitzed her way into The Home Of Martial Arts on the strength of five stellar victories.

Zamboanga made her promotional debut by shocking Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan in her native Malaysia last December, and then she secured the number one contender’s spot by battering Yamaguchi en route to a unanimous decision.

In the process, “The Menace Fairtex” elevated her professional record to 7-0.

Mei Yamaguchi

Mei Yamaguchi walks out in her karate gi

Yamaguchi is one of the most respected and beloved women athletes in ONE Championship history.

A DEEP Jewels Featherweight World Champion, the Tokyo native has been competing professionally in the sport since March 2007 and has compiled a lifetime record of 21-12-1.

The 37-year-old has gone five rounds with Lee twice and nearly won the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title on both occasions.

If there is a third meeting between the pair in the future, perhaps that will be the charm she needs to lift the belt off the Singaporean hero.

Gina Iniong

Team Lakay's Gina Iniong hits the focus mitts at an open workout

Team Lakay is known for producing many ONE World Champions, and the next one could very well be Gina “Conviction” Iniong.

The 30-year-old Baguio City native is a six-time Philippine Wushu Champion who has masterfully applied her phenomenal striking expertise to mixed martial arts.

However, in her most recent bouts, she has displayed her improved grappling skills.

Iniong, who owns a 9-4 professional record, has defeated some of the division’s top contenders and could only be a single victory away from a crack at the atomweight crown.

Meng Bo

Chinese mixed martial artist Meng Bo raises her arm

Meng Bo has quickly proven herself to be one of the most talented female mixed martial artists ever produced by China.

Raised by a family of farmers in Northeast China, Meng learned taekwondo, sanda, and jiu-jitsu during her adolescence.

In November 2013, she defeated Weili Zhang in her professional debut, and she eventually became a two-time Chinese mixed martial arts champion.

The 23-year-old finally arrived in The Home Of Martial Arts last November, where she knocked out former ONE World Title challenger Laura “La Gladiadora” Balin in the first round. From the looks of it, this is just the beginning of what could be a long, exciting journey.

Itsuki Hirata

Japanese athlete Itsuki Hirata throws a dragonball

Itsuki “Strong Heart Fighter” Hirata recently earned some notoriety for her fabulous cosplay of Android 18 from Dragon Ball.

But also, the 20-year-old has received a tremendous amount of attention for her dominant showings inside the Circle.

The Japanese rising star owns a spotless 6-0 record and has finished every single opponent who has stood across from her.

Most recently, the black belt judoka earned her first TKO victory when she punished Nyrene “Neutron Bomb” Crowley with a ground and pound assault in the third round of their February 2020 clash.

Jihin Radzuan

Malaysian atomweight mixed martial artist Jihin Radzuan with the flag

When Malaysian pioneer Ann “Athena” Osman retired from active competition in late 2017, Jihin immediately became the country’s next mixed martial arts darling and proudly waved the Jalur Gemilang (Stripes Of Glory) flag.

Jihin, a Wushu World Champion equipped with a BJJ purple belt, has used her perfect martial arts blend to find success in the Circle.

The Johor Bahru native owns a 5-2 professional record, and she has already beaten the likes of former ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title challenger Jenny “Lady GoGo” Huang.

At only 21 years old, “Shadow Cat” has even more room to grow and could make a serious run at becoming Malaysia’s first-ever mixed martial arts World Champion.

Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol

Indonesia's Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol walks to the ring with the flag

Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol may have had a rough start to life in the world’s largest martial arts organization, but the two-time Wushu World Championship medalist brilliantly turned her career around in a flash.

The 31-year-old Jakarta native has won seven of her past nine bouts and has emerged as one of the most popular mixed martial artists in Indonesia.

It has been a remarkable journey for “Thathie,” who had to win over both the global fanbase and, most importantly, her family.

Rika Ishige

Thai mixed martial arts pioneer Rika Ishige

Rika “Tiny Doll” Ishige is one of the most entertaining athletes in the entire weight class.

Often smiling, the Thai pioneer helped pave the way for other women from her homeland to compete in mixed martial arts.

She is well-versed in karate, aikido, and Muay Thai, and holds a blue belt in BJJ. That has led the 30-year-old to a pair of phenomenal submission and TKO victories in the Circle.

When “Tiny Doll” is not competing, she could be found modeling or cosplaying.

Ritu Phogat

Ritu Phogat makes her mixed martial arts debut against Nam Hee Kim at ONE AGE OF DRAGONS

Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat may be new to the sport of mixed martial arts, but she has quickly made an impact.

In early 2019, the Haryana-born superstar, whose world-famous wrestling family served as the inspiration behind the Hindi-language blockbuster film Dangal, relocated to Singapore to begin her training at Evolve.

So far, the move has paid off.

Phogat earned a first-round TKO victory in her professional debut in November, and she followed that up with a dominant three-round performance last month. If she keeps this up, the 25-year-old wrestling icon could become India’s first mixed martial arts World Champion.

Read more: Top 10 Women In ONE Super Series