Lee, Gracie claim inaugural ONE FC titles

Nissi Icasiano

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Lee, Gracie claim inaugural ONE FC titles
Lee survives a 5-round test from Yamaguchi to earn the inaugural ONE Championship women’s atomweight title

SINGAPORE – Singaporean sensation Angela Lee survived 5 gruelling rounds against Japanese fighter Mei Yamaguchi to walk out of the Singapore Indoor Stadium with the inaugural women’s atomweight championship on Friday, May 6 in the main event of ONE Championship’s “Ascent to Power” fight card. 

Lee was forced to endure Yamaguchi’s never-say-die spirit to earn a unanimous decision victory and become the first Asian female fighter to win a mixed martial arts world title. 

The 19-year-old Singaporean appeared on her way to a fifth submission win in the first round as she fastened a deep guillotine choke, but 25-fight veteran Yamaguchi refused to say “I quit” and loosened the hold.

As Lee exhaustedly entered the second round, Yamaguchi bombarded her counterpart with a right straight and shockingly secured a takedown.

Lee found a loophole to lock an armbar, but Yamaguchi stood up and spiked her opponent’s head on the floor.

In the third stanza, Yamaguchi dropped Lee to the canvas with a short right cross and then followed her on the ground with her version of an armbar before releasing the hold for an arm-triangle.
Gasping for air, Lee fished for a triangle choke and had Yamaguchi for a long time before the Japanese powered out to escape.

Lee regained her wits in the fourth frame, where she toyed Yamaguchi with a heel hook and an arm-triangle.

When Yamaguchi returned to her feet, Lee stuffed the desperate takedown shots from her Japanese foe.

Even though Yamaguchi started the fifth round on a strong note, Lee established her groove midway through the period as she pacified the Japanese with several submission stabs until the final bell.
With the hard-fought victory over Yamaguchi, Lee remains undefeated and improves her professional record to 6-0.

On other hand, Yamaguchi snaps her 3-fight winning streak and downgrades to a 15-9-1 slate.

Roger Gracie cops maiden ONE light heavyweight belt 

Roger Gracie (8-2) has set another milestone for his highly-regarded fighting family as he became the first ONE Championship light heavyweight champion and the first Gracie from his fabled clan to claim a world title by effortlessly disposing previously-unbeaten fighter Michal Pasternak (11-1) in the co-headliner of ONE: Ascent to Power. 

(READ: Pinoy fighters Yabo, Bullos falter at ONE: Ascent to Power)

Gracie captured the gold-plated strap by rendering Pasternak unconscious with an arm-triangle choke in the first round.

Pasternak posed no threat to Gracie as the 34-year-old Brazilian subdued the highly-touted Russian with a hard knee to the chest and then took him for a ride down to the mat. 

Gracie easily positioned himself on full mount, where he had the clear view to latch on the fight-ending submission to put Pasternak into sleep at the 2:11 mark of the opening salvo. 

According to Gracie, he plans to drop down to middleweight to challenge division kingpin Vitaly Bigdash as the submission specialist seeks to be the first fighter in ONE Championship history to hold two world titles simultaneously. – Rappler.com

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