On a night that will see dominant champions and a mixed rules bout, returning atomweight champion Angela Lee will face Grand Prix winner Stamp Fairtex in the main event of ONE: X.
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) March 18, 2022
Short of claiming a title in a second weight class, ONE Championship’s home grown star Angela Lee has made the most out of twelve appearances inside the cage. At just 25 years old, “Unstoppable” has become the face of the promotion and is synonymous with a brand that continues to grow its reach in Asia and dabbled in becoming a part of the US market. With respect to the other stars of ONE, she is the only one for whom fighting for the promotion is the family business as both her brother Christian (a former lightweight champion) and younger sister Victoria also compete under the organization’s banner.
When last we saw Lee, she had triumphed over rival Xiong Jingnan who was attempting to wrest the atomweight title after Lee had failed to claim Xiong’s strawweight belt earlier in the year. After taking time off to start her family and properly return to form in training, Lee will face one of the sternest tests of her career as she looks to pick up where she left off in taking on one of ONE’s latest upstarts who has waited a long time for her return.
Nobody saw THAT coming! Stamp Fairtex 🇹🇭 finishes Ritu Phogat via ARMBAR to win the ONE Women's Atomweight World Grand Prix! 💪 #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship#ONEWinterWarriors | How To Watch: https://t.co/YlCCWjOPa1 pic.twitter.com/ODNjJ474Ks
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) December 3, 2021
Much like Lee, Stamp Fairtex has taken a homegrown approach to entering the MMA consciousness. With all but one of her professional bouts in both MMA and kickboxing taking place in ONE Championship, Fairtex was one of the top prospects to enter the atomweight Grand Prix. It was not without challenges as Fairtex’s first bout was an immediate rematch with the woman who handed her her first loss: Alyona Rassohyna. After having victory snatched away from her grasp in the form of a late guillotine submission from Rassohyna, Fairtex was given the nod with a split-decision victory in the quarterfinals.
After besting Julie Mezabarba, Fairtex faced her toughest test in the form of early favorite Ritu Phogat. Coming from a family of wrestlers and built up through ONE’s ranks, Phogat was shocked by a second round submission by the seasoned striker. Now with a Grand Prix title under her belt, Fairtex has a chance to wrest the throne from ONE Championship’s most beloved star and boost her own profile immensely in the process.
While Fairtex rose to prominence by winning titles in both kickboxing and muay thai in ONE, she has proven herself to be a proficient grappler. A well-rounded threat who is a technician on the feet and on the mat, Fairtex will look to use her counter-striking to keep the champion on the outside where she can utilize her full arsenal. Lee will look to get inside where she can use her physicality to stifle the rangier attack of the challenger. While she is an excellent grappler in her own right, she should look to avoid long grappling exchanges and instead focus on raining down punches to keep Fairtex from looking for submission attempts.
Your main event for ONE X is locked and loaded! Who will walk out as the ONE Women's Atomweight World Champion? Order the PPV and find out!#ONEX | 26 March | PPV: 8PM SGT/8AM ET | Order PPV: https://t.co/eBUfsODAFL | Get Tickets: https://t.co/4ieR6zyaoE pic.twitter.com/pS55ekYnjo
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) March 25, 2022
While a victory for either woman would be a seminal one given the circumstances, the work would be far from done. On the extravagant undercard, ranked atomweights Denice Zamboanga and Seo Hee Ham will battle in a fight that is expected to produce the next contender regardless of whether the champion is Lee or Fairtex. Considering the run the winner would be on, their next title defense would be one of the more anticipated bouts of 2022 for ONE Championship.