Angela Lee is the most notable female star in the history of Asian MMA, but her next opponent isn’t intimidated by the champion’s burgeoning reputation. In fact, Jenny Huang is happy to slip under the radar and feels that having underdog status could be a factor in her favor ahead of ONE: Warrior Kingdom.
“I think Angela Lee has more pressure than me because she’s everyone’s favorite (and) this fight will be her first title defense,” Huang said.
It’s Lee who will be defending her ONE Championship atomweight belt at the Impact Arena in Bangkok on Saturday. But Huang earned her title shot the hard way, winning four fights out of four for Asia’s biggest MMA promotion with her latest victory coming courtesy of a gogoplata.
A Taiwanese national, Huang hails from a part of the world into which ONE Championship is seeking to expand its presence in. She normally trains in Taipei, but traveled to mainland China in order to prepare for this fight.
‘I’ve been training in China with another ONE Championship fighter. I start off with two hours of training and then two or three hours of stretching and relaxing after and then another two more hours of training. The training I’ve been getting in China, I feel like it increased my strength by 70 to 80 percent,” she said.
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Huang might be coming off three straight submission wins in the ONE Championship cage, but her opponent is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with over a decade of grappling experience. However, the undefeated Taiwanese atomweight wants to showcase another aspect of her game.
“Her ground game is her strength (but) I think her weakness is probably her striking. I want to apply more Chinese Kung Fu (and) I think I will give her a knockout.”
There hasn’t been a breakout female star from the Chinese region yet. Huang thinks this might be due to old fashioned attitudes, which she herself has had to overcome.
“There’s definitely a lot of hardship in this journey that I’m in. One of the reasons is the traditional mindset in Asia, you might not get a lot of family support. My family wanted me to be a policewoman, a firefighter, or maybe a coach, anything except a professional fighter.”
As Huang prepares to challenge for a major title in a fight which will be broadcast all over the world, she is happy to report that her family have finally started to support her unconventional career choices.
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“The conflict with my family actually helped keep me motivated. It made me stronger, mentally stronger. I have a very traditional family, but just recently my mom gave me her support to pursue my dream.”
Huang’s decision to pursue those fighting dreams has already been vindicated by her success on the international stage. Whatever happens at ONE: Warrior Kingdom, she will remain one of the top female fighters on the roster, but the 26-year-old would love nothing more than to win the belt.
“It’s going to be a milestone for me and a completely new stage in my life if I get this world title. I’m ready for this, I’m ready to take the world title.”
(Follow @JamesGoyder on Twitter)
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