One of MMA’s most promising young stars was almost taken far too soon.
Angela Lee, ONE Championship’s 115-pound women’s champion, was in a car accident last week in Hawaii and she wrote on Instagram over the weekend that it’s a “miracle” she is still alive.
Lee wrote that she fell asleep driving to training early in the morning, at 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 6, and she fell asleep at the wheel. Her car hit a guardrail and she said it flipped over about six times.
Dear Family & Friends, On Monday November 6, 2017 I was in a car accident. I woke up early (4:30am) to drive to my gym, which is 5 minutes from my house and in a blink of an eye… I dozed off, woke up and the next thing I knew, my car had hit the guardrail and flipped over about 6 times. I am so grateful that no one else was hurt. It’s also a miracle that I’m still here today, alive and well. I admit that I shouldn’t have been driving if I was tired… At the time however, I was not aware of how tired I really was. This incident was truly an eye opener. Like every obstacle or adversity in life, I will face it and I will overcome it. I will learn from it and it will be used as a lesson. I want to personally thank each and every person for their love, support and words of encouragement during this time. I want to send an apology to my opponent, Mei Yamaguchi, the fans looking forward to the fight and my organization, ONE Championship. It was not my intention to withdraw from this fight and I will be back. Although I will not be fighting on the 24 November card in Singapore, I will still be in attendance, showing my support. In closing, I would like to say that physically I may look a little banged up but I know that these scars and bruises will heal rather fast. The majority of my time spent healing will be focused more on my emotional and spiritual state of mind. I appreciate your patience & understanding during this time. With love, Angela
“I am so grateful that no one else was hurt,” Lee said. “It’s also a miracle that I’m still here today, alive and well. I admit that I shouldn’t have been driving if I was tired … At the time however, I was not aware of how tired I really was. This incident was truly an eye opener. Like every obstacle or adversity in life, I will face it and I will overcome it. I will learn from it and it will be used as a lesson.”
The Honolulu Police Department, via spokesperson Michelle Yu, confirmed that it was a single-vehicle collision in the central area of Oahu. Yu said there are no pending charges against Lee as a result of the crash.
Lee, 21, lives and trains in Hawaii and does part of her training camps at Evolve MMA in Singapore, the home base of ONE Championship. As a result of the injuries sustained in the accident, Lee had to withdraw from her title defense against Mei Yamaguchi, which was scheduled for Nov. 24.
ONE president Chatri Sityodtong wrote in a Facebook post last week that Lee has a concussion and minor burns. Lee’s father and coach Ken told KHON2 in a statement that his daughter’s car flipped five or six times and landed more than 100 yards away, on the opposite side of the highway.
Lee will not compete at ONE: Immortal Pursuit later this month, but she will be in attendance. ONE announced Monday that Lee will partner with Singapore’s Health Promotion Board to promote the third season of the National Steps Challenge, which encourages physical fitness in the country.
“Health is something that is very important in my life as I continue to bring pride and honor to Singapore in martial arts,” Lee said, per the release. “Even if you aren’t an athlete, health and fitness is extremely important in everyone’s life, so please care for your personal well-being. I encourage everyone to join the fun in Season 3 of the National Steps Challenge to walk more and to be healthier!”
Lee (8-0), who ONE has said is one of the highest-paid female fighters in the world, won the belt against Yamaguchi in May 2016 and has defended the title twice. All but one of her career victories have come via submission.