Angela Lee Is Excited For Michelle Nicolini Bout, Would Love A KO

Two and a half months on from the first loss of her professional MMA career and Angela Lee is looking forward to getting back in the cage next month against Michelle Nicolini, in a strawweight bout.

Speaking to ONE Championship, the ONE atomweight champion said she was happy to have a quick turnaround, after the loss to Xiong Jing Nan at ONE: A New Era.

“I was really happy to get another fight after the March one. I kind of wanted to stay active this year regardless of what happened in Japan.

“I’m taking another fight in the strawweight division, but I’m definitely looking to drop back down to atomweight to defend my World Title before the end of the year against whoever that challenger may be.”

The 22 year old was asked why she decided to stick around at strawweight for her next bout.

“I just wanted a quick turnaround. I didn’t take any damage in that last fight, just a couple of bruises here and there.

“I just wanted to stay busy and shake it off. My last fight, it was over a year since I fought in the cage, and I just felt like I needed to jump back in there and dust myself off again.”

BJJ black belts Lee and Nicolini have competed against each other before. Nicolini submitted Lee at the ONE Grappling Challenge in Macau, back in August of 2016. And Lee is excited to meet again.

“I am excited. I think it’s a great match-up. She has a lot of credentials behind her in her jiu-jitsu background. I knew our paths were going to cross at some time after she started fighting for ONE.

“Obviously, Michelle is a specialist in jiu Ajitsu, but I don’t think she’s had enough time to develop the rest of the areas in mixed martial arts. Of course, my team and I are preparing for what she specializes in, and we’re ready to deal with that, but we’re also ready to make this a mixed martial arts fight.

“I’m not looking to kind of grind her out for all three rounds. I think I’m going to bring it to her, and I’m ready to end [the bout] whenever I can. Hopefully, it’s earlier rather than later.”

And if she has her way, ‘Unstoppable’ would love to end the bout with a knockout.

“I’ve had a TKO in my career but a clean knockout would feel really great. We’ve been working on my striking and rounding off that part of the game. Who knows, anything can happen.

“I’m working really hard to humble myself and grow as much as possible. I know that I’m far from a perfect fighter. I’m far from complete.”

Although her focus is on Nicolini right now, Lee says she definitely wants a rematch with Xiong at some point.

“I think there is unfinished business there. There were talks about her coming down to atomweight. I know I definitely want a redemption fight.

“I’ll jump on the opportunity when I get it. I know I have to defend my atomweight World Title this year, so we’ll just see who the top contender is at that time.

“I’m not really sure who ONE Championship will want to match up for that World Title defence. Other than [Xiong Jing Nan and Mei Yamaguchi], I don’t see anyone else as a top contender right now. I’ll leave that up to the organisation.

“I really don’t have any preference. I know I’m going to get around to Xiong eventually, whether it’s this year or the next.”

Angela Lee vs Michelle Nicolini is set to go down in the co-main event at ONE: Masters Of Destiny, which goes down at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, on July 12th.

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