Angela Lee explains decision to retire at ONE Fight Night 14: “I was not in a place to put myself in the cage”

By Josh Evanoff - October 4, 2023

Former ONE atomweight champion Angela Lee has explained her decision to retire.

Angela Lee

‘Unstoppable’ has been out of the cage for well over a year, facing Xiong Jing Nan last Fall. However, just two months after Angela Lee’s most recent bout, tragedy struck. Her younger sister, 18-year-old prospect Victoria Lee took her own life.

As a result, the champion quickly took a hiatus, and there were concerns if she would ever fight again. Nearly a year to the day of her last fight, Angela Lee formally announced her retirement. She was in attendance at ONE Fight Night 14 and laid down the atomweight title in the center of the cage.

Now, on The MMA Hour, Angela Lee has discussed her decision to retire at length. The former champion stated that the decision wasn’t an easy one. However, having tried to train in the gym, it’s clear that she’s not in the mindset to compete, and might not ever be.


Victoria Lee, Angela Lee, ONE

Image via @angelaleemma on Instagram

“For me, after everything changed, I tried to do some things,” Angela Lee stated on The MMA Hour when asked about her decision to retire at ONE Fight Night 14. “Like how I used to do before, I tried to go back in the gym. I tried to do training sessions, and all these memories and mixed emotions started coming up, and I just knew I wasn’t in a place to put myself back in the cage and the spotlight in that way. I would be compromising my health if I were to do that.”

She continued, “So I just knew my heart wasn’t in it fully. If that’s not in alignment, then, why am I doing it?… I’m doing my best, and I kind of have to. I have a 2-year-old daughter who’s depending on me, I think losing someone is something that you’ll never get over because you’re always missing them. That love you have for them is always going to be there. But learning to move forward and live life differently, is still something I’m learning to do.”

What do you make of these comments from Angela Lee? Did you see her retirement ceremony over the weekend at ONE Fight Night?


Angela Lee ONE Championship