November 24 promises to be a big night for ONE Championship as Ben Askren, their welterweight champion, has a retirement fight against Japanese icon Shinya Aoki, and women’s atomweight champion Angela Lee rematches Mei Yamaguchi.
According to Evolve MMA founder Chatri Sityodtong, the idea is for Askren to fight Aoki in Singapore in November, retire, and then become an executive at ONE Championship. For Lee and Yamaguchi, meanwhile, a rematch at ONE Championship: Immortal Pursuit gives both the chance to build on the epic encounter they produced in May 2016.
Askren remains undefeated in 17 professional MMA bouts and boasts three successful defences of the ONE welterweight championship to his name. Last time out, on Saturday in Shanghai, he dominated the overmatched Zebaztian Kadestam inside a couple of rounds.
Aoki, 39-7 (1 no contest), is a former ONE and Dream lightweight champion and grappling legend, who, against Askren, will be appearing as a welterweight for the first time in eight years.
Lee, 8-0, won her women’s atomweight title following an incredible back-and-forth battle with Yamaguchi, 16-10-1, last year. Since then, the jewel in the ONE Championship crown has defended her belt twice, submitting both Jenny Huang and Istela Nunes, and emerged as one of the most exciting fighters in the sport. Yamaguchi, on the other hand, a competitor who has pushed Lee as hard as anyone, was last seen defeating Huang in the second round.
If you’ve yet to see Lee and Yamaguchi throw down for the inaugural women’s atomweight title, what are you waiting for? Check below…