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ONE's Expert Analysts Break Down Angela Lee Vs. Michelle Nicolini

“Unstoppable” Angela Lee vs. Michelle Nicolini promises to be one of the most intriguing and technical battles on the bill at ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY this Friday, 12 July.

The ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion has dominated almost all of her opponents in the Circle with her outstanding Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills, but when she enters the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, she will face her toughest challenge on the ground yet.

Nicolini is an eight-time BJJ World Champion who already has a victory over “Unstoppable” in a grappling match, though her striking skills are arguably not quite as refined as her upcoming opponent.

Ahead of this fascinating women’s strawweight clash, we turned to some of The Home Of Martial Arts’ expert analysts to get their take on this incredible match-up between former Evolve teammates, and who might have the edge.

Miesha Tate – ONE VP

???? Angela Lee vs. Michelle Nicolini ???? Two of the greatest female martial artists in the world are set to throw down on 12 July!

???? Angela Lee vs. Michelle Nicolini ????Two of the greatest female martial artists in the world are set to throw down on 12 July!????: Kuala Lumpur | 12 July | 6PM | ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY????: Get your tickets at ???? http://bit.ly/onemastersofdestiny19????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp ????‍????: Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter

Posted by ONE Championship on Thursday, July 4, 2019

When I look at Angela Lee compete, there are a few things that I notice. For one, her endurance is crazy. She has a relentless pace, and she just comes forward. She is used to going five rounds.

However, this is only three rounds, so I think her endurance is going to be amplified. I think that whether she’s looking for a first-round finish, or she has to go all three rounds to a decision, Angela is always in it to win it.

Angela has great takedowns – some of the most versatile takedowns that I have seen in mixed martial arts. She can go from throwing [punches] to a double-leg takedown in an instant.

[She is also] relentless in her forward motion. I don’t think she ever takes a step backward. She’s willing to engage in every single area of mixed martial arts with relentless pressure, tenacity, and ferociousness.

The incident that sparked Angela Lee and Michelle Nicolini's heated rivalry! Their strawweight super-bout goes down on 12 July! ????????????

The incident that sparked Angela Lee and Michelle Nicolini's heated rivalry! Their strawweight super-bout goes down on 12 July! ????????????????: Chatri Sityodtong????: Kuala Lumpur | 12 July | 6PM | ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY????: Get your tickets at ???? http://bit.ly/onemastersofdestiny19????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp ????‍????: Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter

Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, July 7, 2019

Michelle Nicolini is incredibly durable. She has never been finished in a mixed martial arts bout. She will continue to absorb damage and keep coming forward to enter the clinch. She enters the clinch exceptionally well. She likes to get her bouts to the ground, and so she finds a way, whether it’s moving inside of punches or ducking underneath them, she will find a way into the clinch.

Nicolini has an exceptional back heel trip. It’s really her best takedown. She finds a way to enter on that double-leg, she swings that leg behind, and she gets a beautiful double-leg back heel trip.

If I’m Angela Lee going into this bout, I want to keep this on my feet. I do not want to engage in the clinch, and if Michelle Nicolini does shoot, I want to make her pay on the exit. I think she needs to be careful about having too much forward momentum – she wants to make sure that she disengages and stays on the feet.

If I’m Michelle Nicolini, what I need to do in this bout to win is use head movement and use false motion to get Lee to overextend and overcommit on her striking so that she can enter and get this to the ground.

Nicolini holds a submission victory over Angela Lee in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world, and they are also former training partners, so there is a bit of a heated rivalry brewing here, and this is going to lead to an excellent bout.

Michael “The Voice” Schiavello – ONE Commentator

Get ready for a grappling classic when Angela Lee and Michelle Nicolini take the stage for an epic strawweight contest on 12 July!

Get ready for a grappling classic when Angela Lee and Michelle Nicolini take the stage for an epic strawweight contest on 12 July! ????: Kuala Lumpur | 12 July | 6PM | ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY????: Get your tickets at ???? http://bit.ly/onemastersofdestiny19????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp ????‍????: Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, July 5, 2019

Angela Lee now knows what the strawweight game is about, so she has changed up in preparation. I expect to see Lee in her most devastating, most powerful incarnation ever. I expect to see her at strawweight as we always hoped she’d be – a ferocious competitor, full of striking dynamite, and also incredible on the ground.

When you talk about one of the finest female grapplers in the world, you talk about Michelle Nicolini. She can tie you up from all angles like a ball of twine, tie you up like a pretzel, and tap you out from anywhere.

There is no submission Michelle Nicolini can’t do, and there are some submissions she pulls off we’ve never even seen before. I mean, her imagination and her inventiveness on the ground is phenomenal.

Where this one really differentiates is going to be on the feet. Nicolini doesn’t have it on the feet. I’m sorry, but that’s the simple mathematics of it. She doesn’t have the boxing, the kicking, and the footwork that Angela Lee does. She will get absolutely owned on the feet by Angela Lee, so she has got to get Angela down.

She’s going to try to take her down in the opening minute, she’s got to control her on the ground from the top or the bottom.

8-time BJJ World Champion Michelle Nicolini is determined to hit the ground running when she faces Angela Lee on 12 July!

8-time BJJ World Champion Michelle Nicolini is determined to hit the ground running when she faces Angela Lee on 12 July! ????: Kuala Lumpur | 12 July | 6PM | ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY????: Get your tickets at ???? http://bit.ly/onemastersofdestiny19????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp ????‍????: Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter

Posted by ONE Championship on Thursday, July 4, 2019

So will Angela choose to go to the ground and stay on the ground with Nicolini? If Nicolini takes Angela down, can Angela get back up? Will Angela simply move around the Circle and try and control it and dominate on the feet, pick her apart on points and maybe try to knock her out? There are so many variables.

Let’s not forget there’s a certain element of psychology here as well. Nicolini and Angela used to be training partners at Evolve, so they know each other intricately. They know the tricks, they know the subtleties, they used to roll with each other every day.

Also, they competed together in a BJJ tournament, and at that tournament, Nicolini bettered Angela Lee, so you’ve got to wonder is that going to play through Angela’s mind? Is it going to be niggling away in the back of her brain going, ‘Oh my goodness, if I go to ground with Nicolini, she’s beaten me there before, she’ll beat me there again.’

You never know the psychology of a world-class athlete and how it’s going to affect Angela Lee knowing Nicolini has that little advantage.

Mitch Chilson – ONE Commentator

Angela Lee continues her quest to become a two-division ONE World Champion on 12 July against the most decorated female grappler on the planet, Michelle Nicolini!

Angela Lee continues her quest to become a two-division ONE World Champion on 12 July against the most decorated female grappler on the planet, Michelle Nicolini!????: Kuala Lumpur | 12 July | 6PM | ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY????: Get your tickets at ???? http://bit.ly/onemastersofdestiny19????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp ????‍????: Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, June 28, 2019

This is going to be an incredible match-up. Every time we’ve seen Angela Lee, she is able to take her opponent’s weakness and amplify it. When she goes up against ground athletes, she is able to pick them apart on the feet. When she goes up against strikers, she takes them down and finishes them.

Angela Lee has a brilliant team behind her in the Lee clan. They strategize, and they implement their strategy almost to a tee every time.

Michelle Nicolini, the eight-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion, is something truly special on the ground. If she drags her opponents down to the mat, she can finish you almost academically. She has so many different weapons when it comes to the ground game. She has victories with almost every single submission – including a toehold against Angela Lee.

This is a very intriguing match-up because you’ve got almost a rematch of sorts, but this happened previously at a ONE grappling tournament where Michelle Nicolini slapped on a toehold and forced Angela Lee to tap.

If this thing hits the ground, Michelle Nicolini is sure to dominate, but how will Angela Lee keep it in her wheelhouse? Can Angela Lee, who is also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, keep it on the feet and showcase that ever-improving striking that she showed against Jenny Huang when she was able to pick her apart on the feet?

Kuala Lumpur | 12 July | 6PM | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onedestiny19