We’re only a few days out to seeing Thailand’s biggest Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event taking center stage at IMPACT arena Mueang Thon Thani. After two of the biggest Thai music acts to date, Thaitanium and Slot Machine, will have taken center stage and get the crowd all ready to go the cream de la cream of Asia based Mixed Martial Artists will jump into the octagon and try to show who’s the best of the best in order to crown themselves during the so dubbed ‘Warrior Kingdom’ event held by One Championship.
The Main event will be, for the first time ever, I women’s bout. We will see “Unstoppable” Angela Lee (interview with Angela Lee here), who took the crown in her last fight after an impressive performance against her way more experienced opponent defending her title for the first time against Jenny Huang from Taiwan (Interview with Jenny Huang here!). In further events we will also see Dejdamrong (Interview with “Kru Rong” here), a Thai fighting legend, trying to bounce back after his title loss at Bangkok’s last MMA event. Moreover Rika “Tindydoll”, a Bangkok based Thai competitor will also make her debut on the big MMA stage completing the second women bout on the main card of this event.
The main focus, however, lies on the main event between Angela Lee and Jenny Huang who are both undefeated in their professional careers (Lee: 6-0, Huang: 5-0) but whose roads to Bangkok could not have been any more different. Angela Lee who is, without a doubt, ONE Championships go-to and show-off superstar at the moment seems to almost receive Ronda Rousey like treatment by the media and promoter. She’s on every cover, on every show and every ad. Everything revolves around her which she, so it seems, seem to handle pretty well. Taking into account that she’s the youngest ever MMA Worldchamp that’s even more impressive and in one of her prior interviews she claimed not to make the same mistakes Ronda Rousey made and that her focus only lies on defending her title and making sure to walk out of Bangkok the champ. Support comes from within her fighting family. Her brother, Christian, is also fighting for the Evolve Fight Team, just like Angela herself. Both are based out of Hawaii and Singapore and enjoy training together. Both their parents are into the sport as well and been supportive from the very beginning. Those sound like the perfect circumstances for a successful title defense. Considering her impressive ground game and submission grappling Angela, obviously, is the odds-on favorite to defend her title.
The competition from Taiwan in form of Jenny Huang should not be underestimated though. After finishing off her last opponent with one of the first ever seen (at least for a long long time) gogo-platas in a professional MMA fight she gained widespread attention. Her road to success was completely different to the champ’s one though. Jenny does it all by herself. Her parents never supported her choice to go into MMA, she was the first female fighter in Taiwan and had to break into a male dominated discipline all by herself. She’s still the only professional Taiwanese fighter on such a global scale but paved the way for more female athletes to follow. The odds seem stacked against her as Angela Lee is everybody’s favorite but she’s not 5-0 for nothing and, even when moving backwards in a fight, has the willingness to never give up.
When writing fight predictions for other websites I’m usually able to break it down quite easily but this one seems a bit more difficult. Simply because, besides the fights themselves, there’s not much to see of Jenny Huang. She wasn’t necessarily dominating her last fight but the submission certainly was impressive. The same goes for her prior fights. She seems to be a fighter that even enjoys the pain (check our interview were she actually states that) and thrives upon getting pushed back and having pressure on her in order to shine. With Angela Lee having now all the spotlight it would be easy to view her as a bit of the ‘arrogant’ champ and while she did seem to act a bit too ‘champ like’ at the press conference earlier this year you can’t deny her abilities and when remembering her champ making fight where she survived a submission hold that probably would have broken every other athlete, you simply have to believe in the will power of the champ.
Therefore I’m picking the champ to retain in a, hopefully, very entertaining bout that highlights two of the best female martial artists on the planet.
One Championship “Warrior Kingdom” is happening on March 11 @ Impact Arena, Mueang Thon Thani. Check back here for a write-up, review, pics and videos and follow us on Facebook for exclusive content.