Three athletes with Hawaii connections picked up awards at the 2019 Asian MMA Awards.
Mililani’s Christian Lee was named Male Fighter of the Year. He went 3-0 in ONE Championship in 2019, defeating Edward Kelly by TKO to get a chance at the ONE lightweight championship, which he won four months later by defeating Japanese MMA legend Shinya Aoki via TKO. He then defeated Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev in a non-title bout in October via unanimous decision.
Christian’s sister, Angela Lee won Fight of the Year for her victory against Jingnan Xiong. Lee had lost her previous two fights entering the bout, one of which was against Xiong, who TKO’d her in March 2019. It was her first professional loss. The rematch was a competitive back-and-forth donnybrook that saw Lee cinch victory with a rear-naked choke with only 12 seconds left in the fight.
Former UH linebacker Jake Heun also picked up an award for Walkout of the Year. At Rizin 16 in Japan, he entered the ring with a memorable rendition of Star-Lord’s dance from Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.” He won his fight via split decision.