Angela Lee only made her professional debut in May, but the Singaporean is already setting the Asian mixed martial arts (MMA) world ablaze. She's won two fights out of two for ONE Championship and will be returning to the cage this November to take on Natalie Gonzales Hills.
A third straight win at ONE: "Pride of Lions" would leave her on the brink of a title shot and Lee says she'd be willing to consider moving up or down in weight in order to realize that dream.
"My goal is to challenge for the strawweight ONE title belt because that is my natural division. However, I would gladly go up or down one division of it was for a title fight."
Lee's father is a Singaporean who has been teaching her martial arts techniques since she was old enough to walk while her mother hails from Korea and both hold black belts in Taekwondo. After spending much of her life in Hawaii, she recently moved back to Singapore to join the fight team at Evolve MMA and has been going from strength to strength ever since.
"It's great! Everyone at Evolve is so friendly and welcoming. I really love the environment. I work with excellent coaches and world champions from many different forms of fighting and martial arts."
Lee's most recent win came at the expense of an Egyptian wrestler called Mona Samir. She had initially been set to face Elena Pashnina, a Russian Sanda specialist, and says the last minute change of opponent required a slight tactical rethink.
"My coach and I did have to adjust our game plan due to the last minute change in opponent because their styles were completely different. However, because I am equally trained in all areas of mixed martial arts, the adjustments were not an issue."
This will be Lee's third fight for ONE Championship and her second at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, where she made her professional debut in May. The 19-year-old phenom understandably had a few butterflies before fighting in front of such a large crowd, but says the ONE cage is starting to feel like home.
"I was extremely nervous for my first fight in ONE Championship earlier this year. In Jakarta the second time around, I still had some nerves but I felt more excited than anything."
Lee has proved a big hit with the Singaporean crowd and this makes her determined to put in a performance to remember on November 13th.
"When the cage door locks, it's all the same. However, you never know what to expect in terms of what the crowd is like and the Singapore crowd is amazing!"
Gonzales Hills brings a 2-2 record into her first fight for ONE Championship and Lee believes the Filipino-Australian represents a slightly different type of challenge to her two previous opponents.
"I know that she's an aggressive fighter with two submission wins. My first opponent was a strong striker, my second opponent was a strong wrestler, and now my next opponent is a strong submission grappler. I am glad that ONE Championship has given my the opportunity to showcase my strengths in each area of combat."
Another potential Singaporean star to keep an eye on is Lee's younger brother Christian. The 17-year-old up-and-comer has been training alongside her at Evolve MMA and she says both had to go through a rigorous selection process to be accepted onto the team.
"It was a very proud moment for me when my brother and I were accepted onto the Evolve Fight Team. We went through all of the tests, trials and tribulations and we both came out victorious. I am so glad that we get to go through this amazing journey together. He has always been my main training partner and best friend."
This will be Lee's third fight in seven months and she has been training relentlessly in order to kickstart her professional MMA career.
"I take a couple days to celebrate after a fight but after that I'm back to training within the week. I like to stay focused and in top shape so that I'm prepared to fight at any time."
To prepare for her encounter with Gonzales Hills she has been working with a who's-who of champions from the worlds of both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and Muay Thai.
"Heath Sims is the head MMA coach and the main people I train with are Orono Wor Petchpun, Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichok, Mark Striegl, Bruno Pucci, Almiro Barros, and Marcos Ratinho."
Her career has taken off since signing for ONE Championship and relocating to Singapore to train with Evolve MMA. It's been a busy few months for Lee, but she loves to fight and is just happy to be able to do so with such regularity.
"I am extremely grateful to be able to stay so active. I haven't had any injuries and the weight cut is not a problem."
With her willingness to compete at any one of three weight classes and a habit of putting away opponents in the opening round, she shouldn't have to wait too long for a title shot. Lee hopes to become the first Singaporean to ever win a ONE Championship title and at the age of just 19, time is very much on her side.