MMA: Angela Lee pulls out of world title bout after injury

MMA: Angela Lee pulls out of world title bout after injury

angela lee
MMA star Angela Lee. (Photo: One Championship) 

SINGAPORE: Mixed martial arts star Angela Lee has been deemed "unfit" to compete against China's Xiong Jing Nan in Friday's (Nov 9) ONE Championship bout after sustaining a back injury.

ONE Championship founder and chairman Chatri Sityodtong said he was "bummed" after a medical team declared Lee unable to compete in the strawweight title match at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

"I have made the decision to pull Angela off the card, despite her (insistence) to compete still in the world title fight," said Chatri in a Facebook post.

He added that she suffered a "serious back injury" during a training session and "badly herniated a spinal disc". 

The injury left her unable to walk, he said. 

"Doctors suspect that the injury originally happened last year, when Angela's car flipped five times on the highway in her near-death accident," he said, referencing the car accident that left Lee unable to fight Japan's Mei Yamaguchi.


Lee explained on Instagram that she felt a strain on her back two weeks ago, which eventually led to a "shooting pain" from her lower back to her toes.

"I’ve been dealing with constant sharp nerve pain, sciatica and muscle spasms," she said. "As hard as it was to (accept the) decision, I know that this was the smart thing to do in order to preserve my health and career.

"I know a lot of you may be disappointed ... And I’m sure my opponent is as well. I sincerely apologise. This was not something that was in my control."

Lee has been ONE's atomweight (up to 52kg) champion since May 2016, but was vying to become the first female MMA world champion across two divisions by snatching Xiong's strawweight title.

Chatri added that Lee's brother, Christian Lee, will be facing Japan's Kazuki Tokudome as the co-main event instead. 

View this post on Instagram

My dad has always told me that there’s a difference from being “hurt” and being “injured”. As a professional athlete and a fighter, I’ve always been taught to push the extra mile. To endure the pain and tough it out. Giving up is never an option. 2 weeks ago, I was training and I felt like I strained something in my back. I rested for a day, got a massage and went back to train. The next day, the pain got worse. And the next few days after that, the pain increased to the point where I couldn’t even sit or stand. There was a sharp, shooting pain in my lower back and it radiated all the way to my toes. I went to get an MRI and the results came in. There is a disk between my L4-L5 vertebrae that is cracked. They call this a bulging disk, which causes pressure on the nerve. I’ve been dealing with constant sharp nerve pain, sciatica and muscle spasms Even with all of this pain, I still wanted to fight. I was willing to risk it all. I am a fighter and this is the fighter mentality. We always power through. I couldn’t hide this from my dad for too long and as soon as I revealed this to him, he began to weigh the pro’s and con’s. He informed ONE Championship, Chatri Sityodtong and their medical team. Once they reviewed my case, they deemed me unfit to fight. As hard as it was to except their decision, I know that this was the smart thing to do in order to preserve my health and career. I will heal up from this. I will be back. With that being said, I am really bummed out and upset that I won’t be in that cage on Friday night... We trained so hard for this fight. We were so prepared. But life is full of unexpected events and I still believe that- good or bad- everything happens for a reason. I have to trust in that. I know a lot of you may be disappointed. Hell, I am. And I’m sure my opponent, Xiong Jing Nan is as well. I sincerely apologize. This was not something that was in my control. I believe that this incident is just another test of patience & it will fire me up more than ever for my next fight. Injuries suck. Recovery is a process. I appreciate your support, encouragement and understanding during this time 🙏🏼

A post shared by Angela Lee Pucci (@angelaleemma) on


Source: CNA/aa

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