The ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion will meet ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee on Sunday, 31 March in a super-bout that will see the Singaporean attempt to become The Home Of Martial Arts’ first female two-division World Title holder.
However, when the cage door shuts at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan, Xiong has no doubt she will show who is the best female athlete in the organization.
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Posted by ONE Championship on Tuesday, July 31, 2018
“I wish to set an example and show the power of Chinese people on an international stage,” says “The Panda.”
“Last time, I said that I will knock you [Lee] out. Now it’s the same. I will finish you with a KO.
“The belt is mine.”
An injury to the Singaporean forced the postponement of the original contest at ONE: HEART OF THE LION back in November, but anticipation for the biggest women’s bout in the history of the world’s largest martial arts organization continued to grow.
Both athletes are elite competitors with well-rounded skill sets, that will test their rival like never before.
Though Xiong is 4-0 in ONE with three stoppage wins and two World Title defenses, she is still the relative newcomer when compared to Lee, who is 9-0 with seven finishes and three defenses of her World Title.
“Unstoppable” has shown unmatched submission prowess since she emerged on the global stage for martial arts by forcing six opponents to tap to a plethora of unique submissions. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt has also gained tremendous popularity as the face of women’s mixed martial arts in Asia.
However, none of that fazes Xiong. In fact, she relishes the chance to face someone of Lee’s caliber.
“This battle with Angela Lee means a lot to me,” explains the Bali MMA representative.
“She has an international reputation. I think fans from different countries have heard about her name and her powerful skills.
“I enjoy challenging top fighters – opponents of her level are helpful for my career. They push me to progress and learn quickly because getting better and stronger is my only pursuit.”
If she is victorious in Tokyo, “The Panda” will equal her rival’s tally of World Title defenses.
Given the high profile of ONE: A NEW ERA, she is also likely to be exposed to a bigger audience than ever, and her popularity could explode even further.
She has the tools to do it. Her powerful striking has overwhelmed every opponent she has faced in The Home Of Martial Arts so far, but the Beijing native believes this will be more than just a striker-versus-grappler contest.
“I know Angela’s strength, and I also know that she is a [BJJ] black belt,” explains the 31-year-old.
“I guess right now, [from most fans’ perspective] I am still a vulnerable baby in front of Angela Lee. This is not a problem for me.
“In the past, you have seen me as a fighter with good punches and kicks. I don’t like that perception of me because mixed martial arts is a comprehensive sport.
“So, I feel like showing more of my ground or wrestling skills, which will impress you again.”
Lee is also confident she can mix it up away from where she is considered to be strongest, which opens the door for an unpredictable and unmissable contest on 31 March as both martial artists face their toughest adversary to date with gold on the line.
However, Xiong explains nothing drives her to succeed more than making China proud.
“For me, this gold belt is more than a symbol of my personal glory. It’s a spirit, an aspiration. It signifies much more,” she beams.
“I will prove that Chinese people are capable of high-level sporting glory. I want to tell everyone that they can do the same. My belt is an example and a motivation.
“Whenever I am talking about China and the national flag, I’m all worked up and thrilled. I get goosebumps. It feels like I want to start fighting a match right now!”