When they first met at ONE: A NEW ERA back in March, Xiong scored a remarkable comeback victory to retain her ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title, and they will return to Tokyo, Japan for their second battle – this time for Lee’s ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship.
Both athletes learned some valuable lessons from the five rounds they shared inside the Ryogoku Kokugikan, and it will be the athlete that implements those lessons most effectively that gets their hand raised on Sunday, 13 October.
Here are some of the key tactics that could give either competitor the edge.
#1 Xiong’s Body Attack
Xiong retained her World Title on 31 March after a series of energy-sapping body shots in the final stanza. When she was able to maintain the distance, “The Panda” used her longer range strikes to dig into the Singaporean’s midsection.
She threw jabs and side kicks throughout the battle, but it was the Shandong native’s left kick to the liver that had a transformative effect on the contest. It made Lee wince, and a straight right to the solar plexus shortly after set up the finishing salvo.
It took the Chinese superstar until early in the fifth round last time to exploit that gap in her rival’s armor, but this time she could try to exploit it from the opening bell to wear her opponent down, and then take her out to become the first female two-division World Champion in ONE history.
#2 Lee’s Route To The Clinch
Lee will want to get Xiong down, but she does not typically shoot for takedowns from the outside, so her objective will be to set up her clinch behind strikes to navigate the dangerous territory on the way in.
The United MMA and Evolve representative has had plenty of success with this tactic. She likes to dart in behind a long straight right, or throw the right low kick to press her opponents backward into the fence.
With the distance closed, Lee is free to work her takedown strategies. She has a good sequence of body locks and trips, as well as her highly effective front headlock to snap-down that can drag her rival to the mat.
#3 “The Panda’s” Punching Flurries
“The Panda” knows the defending ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion’s plan, so she has to be ready to make her pay every time she attempts to move in.
The Bali MMA athlete has serious firepower in her fists, and her quick, hard combinations can serve as a deterrent that could be enough to make Lee retreat, and then think twice about her next entry.
A right hook-left hook combination landed well when Lee worked her way in last time, and often opened up the chance to unload with even bigger flurries.
Of course, Xiong’s heavy hands could also score the kind of damage on an incoming attacker that could end a match in a hurry.
#4 Lee’s Sublime Submissions
“Unstoppable” may eat some shots en route to the clinch but, as her moniker suggests, she can push through a lot to get her way. If she does and she drags “The Panda” to the canvas, she can do her best work.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt came within millimeters of a historic victory with a fourth-round triangle-armbar the last time she met Xiong, who was saved by the bell, so a small adjustment in a similar position could make a critical difference.
However, she has so many more attacks in her grappling locker, and she may favor a choke from a dominant position this time so her Chinese rival cannot rely on her toughness to hold on and escape.
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.