Back injury forces Angela Lee out of upcoming ONE Championship title bout

A back injury has postponed Angela Lee’s hopes of capturing a second title belt.

ONE Championship’s undefeated and “unstoppable” atomweight titleholder, Angela Lee (9-0),  was set to challenge Jing Nan Xiong (13-1) for the promotion’s strawweight belt at ONE: Heart of The Lion on Friday, November 9.

Unfortunately, on Sunday, ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced on Facebook that the bout was called off to due to Lee suffering a back injury– that an MRI would later reveal as a bulging disk.

Lee took to Instagram to react to update fans on the situation.

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

Her cation reads; “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.”

We wish Angela Lee a speedy recovery.

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One comment

  1. not to belittle an injury, but I’m not confident she will take this fight when she heals up. a girl her size that’s actually ranked in the top 5 in Asia. I’m about done with all the people buying into this show pony and all the ONE smoke and mirrors. as if their titles are legit world titles anyway. I bet when she gets healthy they have a few more atomweights (real ones) from assorted regional circuits lined up for her.

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