Dan Hardy believes Xiong Jing Nan and Angela Lee’s common opponent can help with gameplan against each other

Combat sports analyst Dan Hardy believes that there is one crucial key for both Xiong Jing Nan and Angela Lee in their trilogy bout for the ONE women’s strawweight world title, and that is Michelle Nicolini.

Xiong will once again defend her strap against Lee in the main event of ONE on Prime Video 2: Xiong vs. Lee III this Friday, the bout will be aired during US primetime, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Hardy, on his YouTube channel, said that both Xiong and Lee must study the tape of Nicolini—the only fighter that the two world champions both faced in their careers.

Xiong holds a dominant unanimous decision win over Nicolini at ONE: Empower in September 2021 while Lee failed to do the same.

After a failed bid at Xiong’s crown, the ONE women’s atomweight world champion competed in the strawweight division again to face Nicolini. Unfortunately for Lee, it was the 13-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion who was awarded a unanimous decision victory at ONE: Masters of Destiny in July 2019.

Dan Hardy said:

“Xiong Jing Nan, after losing to Angela Lee, has defended about three times [against] Tiffany Teo, Michelle Nicolini, and Ayaka Miura. The key in that one is Michelle Nicolini because that’s a common opponent. The only other loss in Angela Lee’s record is a decision to Michelle Nicolini, who’s an excellent grappler, a world champion in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.”

Xiong was able to dictate her fight against Nicolini and looked almost flawless in the win while tagging the BJJ legend with great ease.

Lee, meanwhile, struggled mightily against Nicolini, who dragged the match to the ground for most of the three rounds.

Watch Dan Hardy’s full breakdown video below:


Pressure rests on Xiong Jing Nan’s shoulders, says Dan Hardy

Xiong and Lee’s rivalry is one of the most interesting in ONE Championship since their head-to-head series wasn’t fought in a single weight class. The first match was fought for Xiong’s strawweight gold while the second was for Lee’s atomweight strap.

Now that the trilogy bout is for the ONE women’s strawweight world title, Dan Hardy believes that the pressure is heavier on Xiong’s corner.

Watch the video tracing Xiong and Lee’s rivalry below:


“If she loses this one, Xiong Jing Nan might be coming back down to take her belt again. You don’t know whether she’s going to try that. I mean, this could be a continuous back and forth between these two.”

Considering the way their previous meetings have gone, fans will remain on the edge of their seats when the two champions finally step inside the circle for their trilogy showdown.

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