The rematch between “Unstoppable” Angela Lee and “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan has almost arrived, and if it delivers even half of the excitement of their first encounter, fans can expect a thrilling conclusion to ONE: CENTURY PART I.
Fans were treated to one of 2019’s best bouts when they met in March to battle for the Chinese athlete’s ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title, and they will do it all over again this Sunday, 13 October in Tokyo, Japan.
This time, it will be the “Unstoppable” Singaporean’s ONE Atomweight World Title on the line, and the big question is – will a different division make for an equal result?
Unfortunately, that is one question we cannot answer right now, but we have brought together every single morsel of news and analysis from the past few months to give you the ultimate primer for the biggest women’s encounter the global stage has ever seen.
The Road To CENTURY
This rivalry began last September when “Unstoppable” expressed her intention to challenge for the ONE Strawweight World Title. When Xiong defended her belt for the second time against Samara Santos in her homeland, a super-bout was on.
Unfortunately, the bout was delayed when Lee was forced to withdraw from ONE: HEART OF THE LION through injury, but it was rescheduled when she was healthy a few months later.
In March at ONE: A NEW ERA, fans finally got what they were waiting for, and the contest more than lived up to the hype. Despite a ton of success from Lee on the ground, “The Panda” completed an unbelievable comeback with a knockout in the final round to defend her belt again.
Now, the Chinese star is one up in the series, and the tables are turned. This time, she has the chance to become the first-ever two-division ONE women’s World Champion when she visits the weight class the Singaporean has ruled since 2016.
Breaking Down The Bout
More than six months have passed since Lee and Xiong first met in the Circle, and both athletes knew that a rematch was inevitable, so they will have re-run the contest over and over in their heads.
Although “The Panda” emerged victoriously, it was not without damage, and she revealed how she came back from the brink to take her greatest win.
She has continually worked on her ground game since March as she knows that is still her rival’s biggest threat, but she has even more desire to win for the second time now that another World Title is at stake.
Lee has redemption on her mind and an unblemished atomweight record to protect. The Evolve and United MMA representative has made conditioning the key focus so she can keep pressuring the Bali MMA athlete until the final bell.
The back-and-forth nature of the battle last time means this one is hard to predict, but we enrolled some of ONE’s finest martial artists to share their thoughts on the potential outcomes, as well as ONE Vice President Miesha Tate, who knows what it takes to win a World Title, and play-by-play commentator, Michael Schiavello.
We also took apart the athletes’ repertoires to determine some of the tools that could be pivotal in deciding who leaves the Circle with their hand raised.
True Martial Artists
Lee and Xiong are both revered as World Champion martial artists, and as positive role models for the next generation.
Though we rarely see it in the Circle, the Shandong native showed her softer side as she talked about how she feels the pressure of the big occasions, but also how she has learned to overcome it.
“The Panda” also revealed how she experienced doubts when was subjected to negativity online, but she realized that gave her as much motivation to succeed as the support of her most dedicated and loyal supporters.
“Unstoppable” has enjoyed feverish backing from fans since the moment she debuted in ONE, but ahead of this test, she lifted the lid on how her strong female role models close to home are catalysts for her success.
She also explained how her martial arts upbringing means she only has respect for her rival, but that will help her to defeat her this time in Tokyo.
Tokyo | CENTURY | ONE Championship’s 100th Live Event | Tickets: Purchase here
- Watch PART I in USA on 12 October at 8pm EST and PART II on 13 October at 4am EST
- Watch PART I in India on 13 October at 5:30am IST and PART II at 1:30pm IST
- Watch PART I in Indonesia on 13 October at 7am WIB and PART II at 3pm WIB
- Watch PART I in Singapore on 13 October at 8am SGT and PART II at 4pm SGT
- Watch PART I in the Philippines on 13 October at 8am PHT and PART II at 4pm PHT
- Watch PART I in Japan on 13 October at 9am JST and PART II at 5pm JST
ONE: CENTURY is the biggest World Championship martial arts event in history with 28 World Champions featured across various martial arts. No organization has ever promoted two full-scale World Championship events on the same day.
The Home Of Martial Arts will break new ground as it brings multiple World Title bouts, a trio of World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and several World Champion versus World Champion matches to the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on 13 October.