Angela Lee

Car crash rules One Championship star Angela Lee out of Singapore title bout after ‘falling asleep at the wheel’

The 21-year-old was not seriously injured in the accident, but left the scene suffering from concussion and minor burns

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 November, 2017, 11:42am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 November, 2017, 11:09pm

A car accident in Hawaii in the early hours of Monday morning has left martial arts phenomenon Angela Lee injured and out of her upcoming One Championship world atomweight title defence.

Reports coming out of Honolulu overnight say the 21-year-old Lee was not seriously injured in the accident, but left the scene suffering from concussion and minor burns.

Lee has now been forced on doctors orders to withdraw from her rematch with Japanese fighter Me Yamaguchi, which was set to headline’s One’s massive Singapore card on November 24.

The pair had engaged in a epic duel over five rounds in Singapore back in May 2016, with the decision going to the then 19-year-old Lee, making her MMA’s youngest ever world champion. The Hawaii-based star has since defended her title and has extended her record to 8-0, and the rematch with the more seasoned Yamaguchi (16-10-1) was much anticipated by MMA fans across the world given the fact their first bout was widely considered one of the fights of the year.

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Lee was locked away in fight camp before the bout when the accident happened, readying herself for action before heading to Singapore and rejoining the Evolve MMA gym out of which she officially fights.

One Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong released a statement on his Facebook page following the accident.

“One Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee got into a terrible car accident yesterday with her car flipping over 5-6x according to the police,” Sityodtong wrote. “She was driving to her morning training at the gym when she fell asleep. Miraculously, she survived with only a concussion, some minor burns, and a banged up body. If she was not wearing a seat belt, it would have most certainly been a different story. I saw photos of the damaged car, and it was a complete wreck. Angela will not be competing on November 24. We are all blessed and relieved that Angela will make a full recovery. Please join me in sending love, prayers, and positive energy to Angela and her family.”

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The Lee-Yamaguchi bout was set to headline One’s Immortal Pursuit card which will also feature current welterweight champion, American Ben Askren (17-0), making his farewell appearance in the cage against Japanese veteran Shinya Aoki (39-7).

The bout was set to crown a stellar year of growth for the One organisation, which has so far staged 11 events across Asia – including its first in Shanghai.

It has also been a huge year for Lee, with two title defences and the recent announcement of her engagement to a fellow MMA fighter in the 27-year-old Singapore-based Brazilian Bruno Pucci (5-2).

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Lee’s father and trainer Ken Lee later issued a statement to Hawaii’s Khon2 news portal.

“My daughter was in a very serious accident yesterday,” he said. “It is truly a miracle that she survived. We are so blessed that God laid his hand of protection over her. Angela’s car hit a guardrail on the highway. The axle snapped and the car flipped 5-6 times over 100 yards and landed on the opposite side of the highway, according to the police. Our family would like to thank everyone for your sincere thoughts and prayers. Angela is now at home recovering and will be okay.”