A lingering injury from a scary car crash last year has forced Angela Lee out of the Heart of the Lion event later this week, where she’d hoped to win a second title in ONE Championship.
A massive blow has hit ONE Championship’s big Heart of a Lion card, which is set to go down in just under a week’s time. In a press release late Sunday, ONE officials announced that promotional darling Angela Lee is off the card. Lee had been set to challenge for a second title, at strawweight, in the main event. She currently holds the women’s atomweight title.
Sunday’s press release quoted ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, who broke the news on Facebook.
“I am bummed to announce that our medical team has deemed Angela Lee unfit to compete at ONE: HEART OF THE LION this Friday, November 9,” said Sityodtong, in a post to the social media platform.
“As such, I have made the decision to pull Angela off the card, despite her adamance to compete still in the world title fight against Xiong Jing Nan. We all know that Angela is a warrior with an unbreakable spirit. However, she suffered a serious back injury in training last week and badly herniated a spinal disc; she was unable to walk just a few days ago”
“Doctors suspect that the injury originally happened last year when Angela’s car flipped five times on the highway in her near-death accident. If it was up to her, she would still compete this week, even if it meant walking into the cage on crutches. In fact, she is still insisting on competing”
“However, safety is the number-one priority at ONE. On a personal level, I care deeply about the long-term health of our athletes, and would never put our athletes in any compromising situations.”
The blow to the card, which is expected to have Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez, and current free agent Sage Northcutt in attendance, is considerable. Xiong Jing Nan, ONE’s strawweight Queen, has been pulled from the event as well.
ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes‘ will now step into the main event, as he takes on interim champ Kevin Belington. A new co-main event has also been added, as Angela Lee’s brother Christian Lee will take on Kazuki Tokudome in a 73kg Catch Weight bout. The pair are stepping up on short notice.
ONE Championship: Heart of the Lion takes place November 9 in Kallang, Singapore at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.