The first time Angela Lee and Mei Yamaguchi fought in this stadium there was little to separate the fighters, with the former claiming a decision victory. The rematch headlined "ONE: Unstoppable Dreams" and the outcome was the same, but the circumstances were very different.
Their match headlined the card at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday. Yamaguchi came on strong in the latter stages and looked to have done enough to win the decision, but the judges didn’t agree. All three voted in favor of the champion.
The opening round was spent standing with Lee pressing forward and Yamaguchi looking to counter strike. It was the Japanese fighter who found the most success with several right hands landing flush, but the champion landed a takedown early in the second frame.
Lee looked to have an armbar locked on tight, but Yamaguchi eventually escaped and finished the second in top position. The Japanese fighter landed a couple more right hands in the third, as both fighters started to try and utilize their striking games.
It was back to the gameplan for Lee, who landed a trip and then a toss, taking Yamaguchi’s back and attacking with punches before sinking in a rear-naked choke. Unfortunately, time was not on her side and the bell sounded to end the round.
In the fourth, Lee attempted a long knee and Yamaguchi countered with a right hand that knocked the champion backward. She never looked badly hurt, but spent the rest of the round on her back, looking for an armbar as the Japanese fighter threw sporadic punches from top position.
There was more action at the start of the fifth, as Yamaguchi landed a hard body kick that knocked Lee off her feet. She went to the ground with her and moved from side control into guard, but was too busy defending against potential submission attempts to land much offense.
With a minute remaining, Lee worked her way up, but ate a few punches in the process and was promptly taken down again. It looked like Yamaguchi had done enough to win, but the judges didn’t agree. The Japanese fighter drops to 17-11-1, while Lee moves up to 9-0.
Martin Nguyen Remains Dual-Division Champion
In the co-main event, Christian Lee was looking to follow in his older sister’s footsteps by winning a title with ONE Championship. His rematch with featherweight champion Martin Nguyen ultimately went the same way as the first fight, although this time the Australian prevailed by way of split decision.
Lee’s strategy was to avoid the striking exchanges and score takedowns. He managed it in the first round and caught Nguyen in a guillotine, but couldn’t find the finish. Action was at a premium in the remainder of the rounds, but it was the Australian who was the aggressor as the teenager seemed reluctant to engage.
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The crowd sounded unimpressed when the scorecard in favor of the teenager was read. But ultimately it proved insignificant with Nguyen claiming a split-decision win that takes his record to 11-2. Lee drops to 9-2 with both losses coming at the hands of the same opponent.
First ONE Muay Thai Champion Crowned
Meanwhile, Eduard Folayang (19-6) had a very easy night’s work against Kharun-Atlangeriev (11-1). The Russian looked completely bereft of ideas and allowed the Filipino to dictate the course of the fight for the full 15 minutes and claim a comfortable decision win.
In stand up action, Sam-A Gaiyanghadao claimed the promotion’s inaugural Muay Thai title with a win over Sergio Wielzen. There were also victories for his compatriots Yodsaenklai Fairtex and Singtongnoi Por Telakun who beat Chris Ngimbi and Joseph Lasiri respectively.
ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS Official Full Results
ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship bout: Angela Lee defeats Mei Yamaguchi by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 5 rounds
ONE Super Series Muay Thai Flyweight World Championship bout: Sam-A Gaiyanghadao defeats Sergio Wielzen by Knockout (KO) at 2:47 minutes of round 4
ONE Featherweight World Championship bout: Martin Nguyen defeats Christian Lee by Split Decision (SD) after 5 rounds
ONE Super Series Kickboxing catchweight bout (72.5kg): Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex defeats Chris Ngimbi by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Lightweight bout: Shinya Aoki defeats by Rasul Yakhyaev Submission (Triangle Choke) at 3:15 minutes of round 1
Lightweight bout: Eduard Folayang defeats Kharun Atlangeriev by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Lightweight bout: Amir Khan defeats Sung Jong Lee by TKO (Strikes) at 3:39 minutes of round 2
ONE Super Series Muay Thai flyweight bout: Singtongnoi Por Telakun defeats Joseph Lasiri by TKO (Strikes) at 2:36 minutes of round 2
Featherweight bout: Xie Chao defeats Meas Meul TKO (Strikes) at 1:10 minutes of round 3
Bantamweight bout: Xie Bin defeats Huang Shi Hao by TKO (Corner Stoppage) at 2:26 minutes of round 2
Bantamweight bout: Sunoto defeats Roel Rosauro by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds