“The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan and “Unstoppable” Angela Lee’s trilogy match for the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title showed why they are the two most dominant female mixed martial artists in ONE Championship history.
The rubber match served as the main event of ONE on Prime Video 2 this past Friday, September 30, and it lived up to the hype.
Xiong, who has held the divisional gold since its inauguration in January 2018, may have left the Circle with the unanimous decision victory, but Lee hung tough and constantly threatened the strawweight queen throughout the 25-minute thriller.
Lee – the reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion who moved up a weight class to challenge for the strawweight crown once more – went on the front foot early at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The longtime atomweight queen attacked with punches and kicks, but “The Panda” was happy to let her rival come close so she could counter with clubbing punches.
Working the body and head, the Chinese MMA World Champion dropped “Unstoppable” with a looping right hand and stayed on the offensive as Lee tried to take things to the ground.
The Singaporean-American’s heart came into play in a huge way as Xiong opened up the taps, battering her foe with volleys of punches. Lee managed to hang on every time she looked close to being finished, but nothing could stop “The Panda’s” relentless aggression.
After surviving a hellish first round, Lee came out firing in the second. She worked inside Xiong’s punches and pushed her rival to the Circle Wall. Locking up her trademark front headlock, “Unstoppable” landed knees to the head and searched for a submission. Xiong, however, was savvy to the threat.
The Singaporean-American maintained her pressure every time “The Panda” freed herself, though she ate stiff punches when she closed the distance.
“Unstoppable” went for a takedown early in round three, but Xiong fended her off and retaliated with punches. Lee pushed her foe to the Circle Wall and scored with some short elbows and knees, but when the pair were out in the open, the Chinese slugger put in work to the body.
Still, Lee looked confident with her striking, as she scored with a clean right hand and some knees from the clinch just before the bell rang to end the third frame.
Coming into the championship rounds, the atomweight queen continued to press forward. Xiong timed her left hooks as Lee moved in with strikes, but the Singaporean-American was undeterred.
Though Xiong was still swinging hard to the body and head when her foe came into range, “Unstoppable’s” volume was clearly higher, and some late strikes from the clinch helped Lee to build some confidence going into the fifth and final stanza.
Lee kicked off the last five minutes with a solid hook-cross, snapping the strawweight queen’s head back. She pressed Xiong to the Circle Wall for a takedown and came close to securing back control, but the wily Chinese athlete escaped.
Out in the open, “The Panda” waited for Lee’s advances and then launched heavy overhand rights in her direction. The atomweight queen wasn’t thrilled with Xiong sitting back to counter and motioned for her rival to move forward late in the frame.
The pair would exchange strikes in the waning seconds of the fight, but time soon expired, thus ending another epic battle.
After 25 minutes of intense action, the judges gave the nod to “The Panda.” The win put her up 2-1 in this tense series and pushed her career record to 18-2.
Now with eight ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title victories, Xiong thanked her rival for her performance and welcomed a fourth battle in the future.