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ONE Championship atomweight champ Angela Lee at her family's United MMA gym in Hawaii. Photo: Instagram

ONE Championship: Angela Lee tells ‘entitled’ Denice Zamboanga ‘you don’t deserve my belt’

  • Lee fires back after Filipino demands pregnant atomweight champ vacate her title
  • ‘Let’s see you win the grand prix belt and then maybe you can start calling some shots,’ says ‘Unstoppable’

Angela Lee has fired back at Denice Zamboanga in a series of social media posts after the number one contender demanded she vacate her ONE Championship atomweight belt.

The 24-year-old Lee (10-2) revealed last week she is three months pregnant but told SCMP MMA she has no intention of giving up her belt and instead promised to meet the winner of ONE’s atomweight grand prix in late 2021.
The Filipino “Menace” (5-0) then blasted “Unstoppable” on social media for not showing “respect” by refusing to “do the right thing” and that provoked a backlash from the champ.

“#Entitled,” Lee wrote in a tweet quoting Zamboanga’s grievance. “Sorry girl but you didn’t do anything to deserve MY belt. No one took it from me, so why would I give it up? Let’s see you win the atomweight grand prix belt and then maybe you can start calling some shots.”

“I’m the very first female champion for ONE and I’ve been champion since 2016. I’m not about to give this up,” Lee added in another tweet. “As for Denice, I know she’s a great up and coming fighter but sorry girl you don’t get a free belt, just like that. You gotta EARN IT.”

In the wake of Lee’s pregnancy, ONE chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced an eight-woman atomweight grand prix championship tournament would commence in early 2021. He confirmed on a media call on Tuesday the winner would face Lee.

ONE: Denice blasts Angela Lee, calls on pregnant champ to give up belt

“The atomweight belt is mine,” Lee later wrote in an Instagram post on Thursday. “I fought hard for it. I sacrificed my blood, sweat and tears for it. I waited years for the opportunity and once I captured the title, I didn‘t allow anyone to take it from me. If no one took it from me, then why should I give it up?

“Many people are too entitled these days. They think that gold should just be handed to them on a silver platter. Sorry but it doesn’t work that way.”

Lee listed her accomplishments, pointing out “in case you forgot” that she went on a five-fight win streak – all finishes – to get her title shot, that she was the inaugural champ, that she made history as the youngest MMA champ at 19 years old, and successfully defend her title four times.

Angela Lee raises her atomweight title in the air after successfully defending it against Xiong Jingnan at ONE: Century in Tokyo. Photo: ONE Championship

“Denice, I know you’re an eager contender,” Lee added. “But I hate to break it to you. You gotta take it from the champ. You have two decision wins in ONE. Your only finish was an 0-0 girl making her debut.

“There are talented girls in the atomweight division but no clear No 1 contender. The grand prix will produce the true No 1 contender and I will defend my belt against the grand prix winner. That’s the fight to make in 2021!

“With all of that being said, ultimately, it’s not up to me or any contender to say if I should vacate my title or not. That decision is entirely up to the company, @onechampionship and the CEO, @yodchatri. I know that they will make the final decision based on what is right and not just on what a contender demands.”

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Angela Lee fires back in telling Zamboanga ‘you don’t deserve my belt’