ONE Championship’s Angela Lee has revealed that she suffered from depression after losing in MMA competition twice this year, her first defeats as a professional competitor.
Lee (10-2-0) suffered back-to-back defeats to Jingnan Xiong and Michelle Nicolini in March and July of this past year. The 23-year-old opened up about the effect these losses had on her mental health during a recent chat with South China Morning Post.
“The first loss of my career definitely had a huge impact on me,” Lee said. “I went into a bit of a depression and I was upset, and then right after that, the fight in July [against Nicolini] not going my way.
“As a fighter, I’m never scared of my opponents but I’m scared that I’m not able to perform to the best of my abilities, and in the first two fights of the year, that’s what I felt like.”
“Especially when everything is going good for so long,” she said. “A loss like this kind of shakes things up and says, ‘Hey, there’s urgency to this and you need to stay on top of it’, because there are contenders climbing up the ranks and they’re all gunning for you.
Lee feels she has learnt a lot from the losses and feels ready to put them behind her.
“I feel like I’m a lot more mature with how I’m dealing with things,” Lee said. “I had my breakdowns, I had my crying all out of me. You can’t just sulk about it – you have to do something about it. That’s how you grow and that’s how you become a better person.
“I went back to the gym and trained harder than ever before. It felt like the beginning of my career – when I was so hungry to fight and so hungry to train.
Also known as ‘Unstoppable’, Lee successfully rebounded from the two losses this past November, avenging her loss to Jingnan Xiong via fifth-round rear-naked choke submission.
“That last win was a great feeling especially when all the hard work pays off in the fight, and I’m so proud of how far I came this year.”
Fight fans, who would you like to see Lee fight in 2020? Let us know in the comments section below.