(Taiwan News) - It must be an overwhelming feeling to be in the challenger’s position, standing across the cage from a champion who has been dominant in nearly all of her bouts. Five fights since making her professional mixed martial arts debut two years ago, Jenny Huang (5-0), who just celebrated her 26th birthday a few days earlier, is set to challenge ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela “Unstoppable” Lee (6-0).
Lee will be making the first defense of the inaugural women’s atomweight belt she earned in a hard-fought victory over Mei Yamaguchi last year at ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM, set to take place at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on March 11.
The challenger, Huang, is young, undefeated, and has quickly built a reputation in the promotion as a crude grappler since she first stepped inside the ONE Championship cage in 2015. Out of Huang’s five total victories, three have come via impressive submission.
Immensely talented, Huang finds herself in a unique position challenging for a world title very early in her career. She maintains that it’s what she has always aimed for.
“I am very honored ONE Championship give me these opportunity to fight in Thailand, this was always my goal. I hope I will do my best to show everyone,” Huang said in a conference call Tuesday. “I am very excited and happy, this has been my long term goal.”
Huang’s credentials speak for itself, having performed at an unbelievable level in her past few bouts. A victory over the Philippines’ April Osenio last December earned her a shot at ONE Championship gold. In addition, much like the champion Lee, Huang is a tremendous grappler which makes the main event bout at ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM an interesting offer.
In her last bout, Huang came from behind to author one of the most spectacular finishes in the history of the promotion. Huang executed one of the rarest submission maneuvers in all of MMA -- the gogoplata.
The victory showcased to the world that Huang possesses the resolve to find victory even in the face of imminent adversity. It’s a quality that most title challengers hoping for a win have possessed as a requisite to a monumental upset.
Furthermore, it puts a real spotlight on Huang’s jiu-jitsu skills. Huang holds a black belt in Judo and a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a combination that has proven largely successful in MMA competition.
Putting Huang side by side with Lee, and you can paint a similar portrait. Both fighters share the same fighter makeup of talented submissions artist with solid skills in the striking department. They match up quite well and will presumably provide fans with a competitive fight.
Despite two very tough bouts against Lena Tkhorevska and Mei Yamaguchi, the champion Lee has relatively breezed through competition. Her robust technique has carried her victories more than her perceived weaknesses.
There is no doubt Lee is a tough matchup for anyone, including Huang. Since this is a title matchup however, it gives Huang five whole rounds to try and catch Lee to score an upset. If anyone can do it, it’s Huang. The 26-year-old standout has the skills to shock Lee and walk out of the cage with the belt.
Many fans are excited at the matchup between the two women headlining a world-class mixed martial arts event. It’s a testament to the immense growth of the sport in Asia. The fight is less than two months away, and already it is expected to be the biggest live event in Thailand’s history.
In addition, Huang is expected to be Lee’s toughest challenger to date. One person who isn’t taking the fight lightly is the champion herself. Lee appears aware that all of her fights from here on out will become increasingly difficult.
“I think that Jenny you know she is a good fighter, a good contender, she’s had you know five fights so far and she has earned her way to this title shot, so I am taking her very seriously,” said Lee.
“I think she is very well-rounded as a fighter and also she specializes in grappling so I think it will be exciting for the fans to see how our styles match up and it should be a really good fight.”