It is hard to find a moment when “Unstoppable” Angela Lee does not have a smile on her face.
As the face of ONE Championship, the 22-year old Singaporean is always in the spotlight, and she always seems to keep a positive attitude – whether she is experiencing highs or lows in her career.
Even as the undefeated ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion, Lee has faced insurmountable odds that many could not have overcome.
From battling injuries, competing through illness, or coming back from the brink of defeat, she has always found a way to keep her head held high.
That is something she admits she has to work on every day.
“I really try my best,” Lee says.
“It’s not like I wake up every morning and I have this positive mindset and I have this big smile.
“It’s a real constant struggle staying grateful and being appreciative. The fact that I’m able to wake up every morning and do what I love to do for my job, for my work, is a blessing.”
When it comes to her preparation for upcoming bouts like her World Champion versus World Champion super-bout for the women’s strawweight gold against “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan at ONE: A NEW ERA, Lee has to endure some grueling training sessions to get ready for the battle ahead.
The Singaporean spends hours in the gym each week, and she is put through the wringer. However, having a goal in mind ahead of practice always makes the most grueling sessions easier.
“It’s very important to have something to look forward to,” Lee explains.
“I think it’s important in your mind that you can have these little things to look forward to or else it’s going to be a long, long week.
“Seven days of hard work. It’s important to have a balance of everything. Work hard and also make sure you take care of yourself.”
Lee also keeps a positive attitude in all of her bouts, especially since she has become a multi-time defending World Champion.
It is a daunting task to battle any opponent for 25 minutes inside the cage, and Lee has learned from past experiences how to get through that test of endurance while showcasing her entire martial arts skill set.
“It’s important to stay sharp the entire time,” the United MMA and Evolve representative says.
“It’s important to have that mindset because the moment that you start slipping, your opponent is going to jump on that. They’re going to sense that.
“It’s important to stay engaged and stay focused during the entire fight.”
Perhaps the biggest test “Unstoppable” has gone through in recent months was the back injury that forced her out of her match-up against Xiong in November.
It was difficult for Lee to pull out of the contest and then sit on the sidelines while she endured weeks of rehabilitation, but she found a way to make the best of a bad situation.
“I spoke a lot with my husband and with my brother, who have the same injuries as me, and it’s something they had to deal with,” Lee explains.
“It helps that I’m not the only one who has gone through it before.
“They know exactly what I’m going through. I have a lot of support from them.
“It’s all how you look at it. I knew there was nothing I could do about it at the time except rest it up, enjoy the holidays, enjoy my family, and when it’s time to get back in the gym, hit it really hard.”
Whether it is training for an upcoming bout, battling through a tough World Title defense, or working through an injury, Lee says the key to keeping a positive attitude was to surround herself with the right people.
“I think it really helps to have my family nearby me and my husband to keep me in check,” she adds.
“It helps me to stay appreciative because this is tiring work. It’s really hard on the body, and it’s easy to let yourself slip. One complaint becomes another complaint, and then you’re just in this whole negative vibe.
“It’s a constant battle of pulling yourself out of that, shaking it off, and having a healthy mindset.”
If she continues to channel her energy in all the right ways, the Singaporean superstar could emerge with a smile on her face on 31 March in Tokyo, Japan.