MMA: Victoria Lee, Ritu Phogat carve out dominant wins at One: Battleground event

SINGAPORE – Victoria Lee delivered on her pre-match prediction on Friday night (July 30), taking just 3min 22sec as she finished China’s Wang Lu Ping via submission in the first round of her mixed martial arts (MMA) bout at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

As the younger sister of One world champions Angela Lee and Christian Lee, the 17-year-old knew that the pressure was on going into the women’s atomweight fight at the One: Battleground event. But she rose to the occasion in just her second professional MMA fight to earn a dominant victory over Wang, who was riding a three-fight winning streak.

Showing the trademark aggressiveness of her older siblings, Lee charged forward to engage her opponent the moment the bell signalling the start of the first round sounded.

The shell-shocked Wang managed to take Lee down to counter the onslaught but could not keep the Hawaiian down for more than a few seconds.

Then, it was Lee’s turn to take Wang down after securing a body lock and Lee went on to dominate on the ground for the rest of the fight. From a dominant top mount position, she mixed up some ground-and-pound along with a rear-naked choke attempt, before getting a hold of her opponent’s right arm to execute an armbar over the top which forced Wang to tap out.

Emotions were running high as Lee soaked in her second career victory during the post-fight interview.

A tearful Lee said: “Honestly man, I used to make fun of my brother and sister for crying after they won but I understand (now), it’s so emotional.

“This week has been an emotional rollercoaster. It was a lot of pressure but I wouldn’t have made it through without my mum and dad. I know my family are all back home watching right now and I’m so grateful for them.”

When asked about the urgency she displayed throughout the fight, Lee said: “Because it’s a fight. That’s how our parents trained us, self-defence.

“You don’t wait until the third round to start working, you go right off the bell. That’s what I did. That was the game plan.”

In the other women’s atomweight fight of the night, India’s Ritu Phogat bounced back from her first career loss in MMA with a unanimous victory over China’s Lin Heqin.

While Lin managed to find some success striking against Phogat in the first round, the Indian dominated the second and third rounds with her ground-and-pound, leaving the Chinese with a bruised face by the end of the fight.

In the men’s bantamweight bout, the Philippines’ Jeremy Pacatiw beat China’s Chen Rui by unanimous decision. Likewise, Cuba’s Gustavo Balart emerged victorious against Japan’s Ryuto Sawada in the men’s strawweight bout with a unanimous decision.

In the co-main event, former two-division One world champion Aung La N Sang halted his two-fight losing skid, as he beat fellow title contender Leandro Ataides via first-round knockout in a catchweight (95.8kg) bout.

And in the all-Thai main event, the One strawweight muay thai world championship belt changed hands after Prajanchai beat Sam-A via majority decision.

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