In her first fight in a year, Angela Lee looked to not only defend her ONE “atomweight” championship, but also to bounce back from a life threatening car crash.
The fight with her rival Mei Yamaguchi, a rematch of their May 2016 battle, was orignally set for November 24th. Tragedy would strike two weeks before fight night, as Lee would be in a serious car wreck.
Lee would escape the incident with only minor injuries, but caused the accident due to falling asleep at the wheel, causing the car to hit a guard rail and roll over.
“Surprisingly, very, very minor injuries,” Lee said when asked about her health following the accident. “A bunch of bruises, minor burns, and a slight concussion. I was more just really shaken up by the whole thing. Pretty unstable. It was kind of traumatizing, so it was really good to take the time off from everything, just pause everything that I was doing regarding fighting and training and get back to my family.
“It’s actually been a few years since I spent solid time at home back in Hawaii with them, so it was definitely good, kind of like a restart button.”
While she is 9-0 in ONE Championship, Lee has only competed in MMA for three years, and feels that leading up to the accident she felt overwhelmed by her obligations as a star of the company.
“I think it was just a lot of things happening at one time. I was overwhelmed by a lot,” Lee said. “Physically, I could have fought, I could have gotten back to training if I wanted to in a couple of weeks. Even when I attended the ONE Championship event in November and I had to go there and do a meet-and-greet and say hi to some people, it was just way too much for me.
Lee would bounce back strong in her comeback fight, going 25 minutes with Yamaguchi, in what she called the longest training camp of her career.
“I came out and I wasn’t as hesitant as I thought I would be,” Lee said. “I think it’s due to the fact that I had a really good training camp and got a lot of sparring in and we kind of went over the game plan a lot and I knew exactly what I wanted to do. It was more towards the later rounds that I got burned out a little bit, so it was the opposite of the first fight. But I stuck to the game plan and everything worked out.”
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