Askren, Lee to defend ONE titles on May 26 + grappling Supermatch
ONE Championship, has announced its return to the Singapore Indoor Stadium with a spectacular ONE: DYNASTY OF HEROES card scheduled for Friday, 26 May. ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee of Singapore defends her title against top contender Istela Nunes of Brazil in the main event. In the co-main event, ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben “Funky” Askren will return to the ONE Championship cage to defend his title against rising young Malaysian star Agilan “Alligator” Thani.
“We have an absolutely stacked card from top to bottom planned for Singapore, and it will be a night fans will not want to miss,” said Victor Cui, CEO of ONE Championship. “Angela Lee, ever the true champion and warrior, just came off a thrilling performance a little over a month ago and she is already raring to get back inside the ONE Championship to perform for her hometown crowd. On the other side of the cage, Istela Nunes is ready to give Lee a stiff challenge as the division’s top contender. Also, welterweight superstar Ben Askren is back and he’s ready to welcome the young Agilan Thani to the upper echelon of the division.”
20-year-old Angela Lee of Singapore is one of the promotion’s most outstanding athletes regardless of gender or weight class. She captured the inaugural ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship with an awe-inspiring victory over Mei Yamaguchi in 2016, and has since then defended the title successfully. Lee’s beautiful combination of elite striking and grappling skills has proven to be a potent formula for success, as she has remained unbeaten inside the ONE Championship cage. In her last bout, Lee dominated top contender Jenny Huang with a masterful display of striking. She now returns to Singapore to defend her title against Istela Nunes.
Unbeaten female atomweight Istela Nunes of Brazil is a two-time Muay Thai world champion with an unblemished 6-0 professional mixed martial arts record. Her exciting style and knack for delivering powerful strikes makes for exciting fights and is one of the biggest components of her game. In her last bout, Nunes took on top-rated female atomweight Mei Yamaguchi, winning a closely-contested split decision. At her best, Nunes is a well-rounded fighter with a solid striking and grappling skill set. She now takes on the biggest challenge of her young career when she goes head-to-head with ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee in Singapore.
A former NCAA Division I All-American, Ben Askren is a collegiate wrestling legend and one of the finest mixed martial artists in the world today. In just a few fights in ONE, Askren was able to seize the ONE Welterweight World Championship with a resounding technical knockout victory over Nobutatsu Suzuki. The highly-skilled Askren is widely considered to be the absolute best in his division and one of the best fighters in the world pound-for-pound. Next for Askren is a title defense against Malaysian welterweight Agilan Thani.
The undefeated Agilan “Alligator” Thani of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will be making his return to the ONE Championship cage, following a spectacular submission victory over veteran welterweight Jeff Huang. The 21-year old prospect is a perfect 7-0 as a professional, with five of his seven victories ending in the first round. All of Thani’s victories have come by exciting finish. The young Malaysian has shown steady improvement in each outing, and has earned a shot at ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren.
Lightweight veteran Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki of Shizuoka, Japan, is one of the world’s most decorated mixed martial artists. He is the DREAM Lightweight Champion, former Shooto Welterweight Champion, and the former ONE Lightweight World Champion. The 33-year-old Aoki is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Yuki Nakai and has won multiple grappling tournaments across the globe. He also holds a black belt in judo. A veteran in both MMA and the Brazilian jiu-jitsu scene, Aoki’s reputation as a grappling specialist is unrivaled. He will take on Garry Tonon in a Grappling Super-Match.
Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon of the United States is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Tom deBlass and Ricardo Almeida. He is a No Gi specialist who has clinched multiple world titles at the IBJJF World and Pan American Championships. At age 14, Tonon fell in love with wrestling and grappling and has developed into a bonafide grappling superstar over the course of his career. He is a prominent fixture in submission-only format competitions such as Metamoris, Polaris, and the Eddie Bravo Invitational. Tonon is set to appear in ONE Championship opposite Shinya Aoki in a Grappling Super-Match.