Just when you think you're tough enough


Angela Lee rolling the big bucks as MMA’s highest paid star

Angela won the fight of the year against Mei Yamaguchi. (Instagram)
Angela Lee won the fight of the year against Mei Yamaguchi. (Instagram)

The proverbial glass ceiling in MMA has just been broken, with Angela Lee over a fight with Mei Yamaguchi, touted as ‘Fight of the Year’.

When 19 year old Angela Lee secured ONE Championship’s inaugural women’s world title in May, the win made her the youngest title holder in the sport’s history and also catapulted her up the ranks of the highest paid athletes on the promotions roster, male or female.

Lee, who made her professional MMA debut a little over a year ago, has taken the MMA world by storm notching up six consecutive wins from six fights, five of which she finished in the first round via submission.

Her title fight against veteran Mei Yamaguchi (15-9-1) was Lee’s only fight to go the distance and ended in a unanimous victory for the rising star.

“The fight against Mei was a really great learning experience. I wouldn’t change anything about the fight, it really challenged me. I learnt more from that fight compared to all my other fights combined.  I’m really happy that I had such an amazing opponent. I’m glad that Mei and I could really show the world what women’s MMA is all about,” Lee said.

Angela lee MMA
Angela Lee has now catapulted to the highest paid MMA star above her male peers. (sbs.com.au)

To say women’s MMA has grown exponentially over the last three years is an understatement. The premier promotions in the world all now boast women’s divisions and some of the top money earners in the sport are female, a feat not achieved in even the most well established mainstream sports.

It is no surprise then that ONE Championship, a Singapore based MMA promotion, is heavily focused and committed to investing in their first female champion and opening up opportunities for the next wave of female athletes to compete on the biggest stage in Asia.

“I think that ONE sees the potential that women’s MMA has and I think that they want to get ahead of the game because it’s going to take off in the next couple of years,” Lee said.

“For the world to see that ONE is investing in a female champion and that they are paying female athletes equally is only going to make more female athletes want to fight for the promotion. It’s really great.”

Read more on SBS.com.au