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Angela Lee is not really Singaporean but….

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20 year old, ONE Women’s Atomweight Champion, Angela Lee has been all over the news this past week. Stretching her win streak to 8-0 on One Championship’s Dynasty of Heroes, the “Unstoppable” Canadian-American is now considered as the number 2 fighter in her division in Asia according to fightmatrix.com, second only to Kunlun Fight’s Zhang Weili(11-1).

Angela Lee with Joseph Schooling on One Dynasty of Heroes

On her debut fight on One Championship in 2015, Angela chose to represent Singapore, contrary to her Sherdog page that reads Waipahu, Hawaii, United States. Her decision to affiliate with the country her father was born in, was interpreted by the close-knit MMA community in South East Asia as purely a marketing move. But One Championship has turned it up a notch by having Singapore’s first Olympic gold medallist, Joseph Schooling, carry the state flag, accompanying her during her title defense walkout. The Olympic swimmer even got the arena to chant “Singapore” in unison during the first round of the fight.

And the marketing strategy clearly worked. Channel News Asia Digital Journalist Justin Ong personally told me that “The reactions to Lee winning went through the roof!” on their Facebook page. However, there seems to be a divide on the question of national pride.

While Sundram Ramaiah feels Singapore should be proud of her….

Sherhan Suhandi thinks otherwise…

Now, I would argue that Angela Lee could still be as popular in Asia as she is today, even if she represented Hawaii. And I believe, that casual Asian fans who only tunes into MMA to watch Ronda Rousey or Conor McGregor would attest to that. These fans would not give a damn where these fighters come from and their roots would not have been a factor in their willingness to purchase PPVs or watch through an illegal online stream. But what’s done is done and we can’t be expecting Angela Lee to turn Hawaiian for her next fight.

So Angela Lee is not really Singaporean but who are we to tell her which country she could and could not represent? Can we force the UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic to stop sporting his Croatian shorts because he was not born there? Do we have the right to tell Cain Velasquez that he can’t be flying the Mexican flag because he was born and raised in the United States? But I can imagine an MMA fan from Mexico saying “Sorry, he is not one of us.” The same has already been said of Angela Lee.

At the end of the day, if she contributes to the country and connects with the people, she will be seen as a Singaporean and ultimately we could not deny that she could very well be “one of us.”

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Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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Bellator 185 Fight to Watch: Heather Hardy vs. Kristina Williams

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Heather Hardy will compete in MMA for the second time at Bellator 185 on Friday night, as she faces Kristina Williams in a strawweight contest. The fight takes place on the main card at the Mohican Sun Arena in Connecticut.

Potentially, what Bellator have in Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy is a major draw that they can build their 125 pound division around. While relatively new to the organisation she is fast becoming one of the more popular names on the roster. Her career is in the early stages, but many have already started to draw comparisons with former boxer turned MMA star, Holly Holm. Holm’s UFC success partly inspired the native New Yorker to make the switch from boxing.

Hardy is already an established world champion in the land of the ‘sweet science’, holding a 21 fight undefeated professional record. She made her MMA debut in June this year with a victory over Alice Yauger, at Bellator 180. At 35, Hardy is a late starter in the sport, but proved at Madison Square Garden against the credible Yauger that she has a bright future.

Hardy’s first outing in the cage was disciplined and composed. Despite a slow start in round one, Hardy grew in confidence as the fight progressed and her cardio never faltered. She mixed in plenty of kicks that complimented her boxing and looked at ease in the clinch, even defending a couple of takedown attempts in the process.

Despite looking on course for a decision win, Hardy forced the TKO stoppage with just thirteen seconds remaining in round three. Even a large cut that required seven stitches from an accidental head clash could not deny her victory.

Hardy was fighting an experienced professional, competing for the tenth time in MMA, which makes the win over Yauger more impressive. However, her upcoming opponent Kristina Williams will be making her professional debut.

There is little known about Williams except that she is 3-0 at amateur level. One of those wins came by way of submission so there may well be a threat to Hardy if the fight goes to the ground. More importantly for Williams is how she copes on the big stage against a popular opponent, who is more familiar competing in high pressure combat situations. If Williams can produce an upset it will be a huge boost in her young career.

But in all honesty, this fight is about Hardy. It’s about getting the win and gaining valuable experience. The boxing career is on hold while MMA takes centre stage. Beating Williams will mean she likely continues fighting inside a cage rather than a boxing ring.

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