Xiong Jing Nan and Angela Lee were born to fight one another.
Two of the most dominant women in ONE Championship history added a thrilling third chapter to their rivalry Friday night, with Xiong taking a hard-fought unanimous decision over Lee to notch the seventh defense of her strawweight title in the main event of ONE on Prime Video 2, which took place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore.
Lee (11-3) likely would’ve won under MMA’s traditional western scoring system, however ONE Championship scores fights as a whole rather than round-by-round, and the immense damage Xiong (18-2) exacted on Lee in the opening round was ultimately what swayed the decision in her favor.
“Only my team and I really understand what I had to go through to really prepare for the match,” Xiong said afterward through a translator. “The audience here may have a different opinion, but I’m always prepared. I’m ready for another fight with Angela Lee — whether it’s kickboxing, it’s MMA, let’s go.”
Xiong and Lee previously faced off twice in two memorable battles in 2019, splitting their series at one win apiece. In their first bout, Xiong defeated Lee via fifth-round TKO to defend her ONE Championship strawweight title. Lee then repaid the favor seven months later, earning a fifth-round submission to defend her own atomweight belt in the rematch.
The third iteration of their championship vs. championship rivalry was no loss exciting, as Xiong got off to a rollicking start and dropped Lee numerous times in the opening round with hard punches and knees to the head. Referee Herb Dean appeared to be close to stopping the action multiple times, however Lee gamely survived to the horn then began to turn the tide in Round 2, dragging Xiong to the mat with a takedown, threatening with multiple submission attempts, and even landing several hard flurries of knees to the head from the clinch.
From there, Lee found her rhythm, picking away with a steady diet of stiff punches, kicks, and clinch knees, while Xiong continued to find her own success with her boxing.
In the end, Lee was unable to overcome her slow start on the scorecards, although both her and ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong disagreed with the decision.
“Xiong came out really strong in the first round, but I really feel like I was the one who more consistently pushing forward, landing heavy strikes, and I just don’t understand the decision,” Lee said. “I don’t understand how you can score points on a card with your defense and running backwards, but I gave it my all in this fight.”
In the night’s co-main event, American jiu-jitsu phenom Mikey Musumeci captured the inaugural ONE flyweight submission grappling world championship with a frenetic unanimous decision win over Cleber Sousa.
Musumeci, 26, kept Sousa on the defensive for the majority of the 10-minute match, stringing together a relentless stream of leglocks and other submission attacks from his guard.
Following his win, Musumeci respectfully asked to face ONE flyweight champion and MMA legend Demetrious Johnson in a crossover showdown.
“I wouldn’t call it a callout because you don’t call out a legend like ‘Mighty Mouse,’ I just want to share the mat with him,” Musumeci said. “And we can make history together.”
Elsewhere in early action, Ilya Freymanov (11-2) and Halil Amir (8-0) both scored monster knockouts in their respective ONE Championship debuts.
Freymanov demolished former two-division champion Martin Nguyen (14-6) with a brutal salvo of knees and punches at 3:33 of Round 1, while Amir opened the main card with a similar feat against top welterweight contender Timofey Nastyukhin (14-7) at :58 of Round 2.
The final main card bout saw top-ranked atomweight and former ONE kickboxing and Muay Thai double champion Stamp Fairtex (9-2) win a wild back-and-forth decision over Jihin Radzuan (8-3), highlighted by a third-round knockdown by Fairtex courtesy of a nasty standing elbow, which can be watched below.
Fairtex then directed a message straight toward Anissa Meksen, who she’s slated to meet Jan. 13 in a mixed rules bout at ONE on Prime Video 6 and who beat Dangkongfah Banchamek via unanimous decision in a Muay Thai contest on Friday’s undercard.
“She said I’m only a dancer, she’s a fighter,” Fairtex said through a translator. “But has she ever won anything in ONE Championship at all?”
- Xiong Jing Nan def. Angela Lee via unanimous decision
- Mikey Musumeci def. Cleber Sousa via unanimous decision — Submission Grappling
- Stamp Fairtex def. Jihin Radzuan via unanimous decision
- Ilya Freymanov def. Martin Nguyen via KO (knees and punches) at 3:33 of Round 1
- Halil Amir def. Timofey Nastyukhin via KO (punches) at :58 of Round 2 | Watch finish
- Marat Grigorian def. Tayfun Ozcan via unanimous decision
- Oh Ho Taek def. Ryogo Takahashi via split decision
- Anissa Meksen def. Dangkongfah Banchamek via unanimous decision — Muay Thai
- Rade Opacic def. Giannis Stoforidis via TKO (strikes) at 1:52 of Round 2 — Kickboxing