Christian Lee: I will defend my belt against anyone, anytime
MANILA, Philippines—Christian Lee has already solidified his reputation as one of the best lightweights in the history of ONE Championship when he won the division’s World title back in May 2019 against legend Shinya Aoki.
At just 22-years-old, Lee has been given the responsibility of being the face of a stacked weight class that includes prestigious names such as Aoki, Eddie Alvarez, and Eduard Folayang.
As the lightweight king, Lee (13-3) said he doesn’t have a problem taking on any worthy challengers but that doesn’t mean he won’t seek out fights that could further his legacy.
“I will defend my belt against anyone, anytime. The lightweight division is the most stacked division in ONE Championship, so I feel like it will only be right to start with the number one contender and work my way down until my division is cleared out,” said Lee.
Iuri Lapicus is just two fights into his ONE Championship career but is already the no.1 contender to Lee’s belt after submission wins over Shannon Wiratchai and former featherweight champion Marat Gafurov.
All of Lapicus 14 professional fights ended in victories without decisions.
At no.2 of the lightweight ranking is Saygid Guseyn Arsnaliev (8-2), whom Lee already defeated in his title defense in October 2019 but the Russian knockout artist had three first round stoppages over Timofey Nastyukhin, Ev Ting, and Amir Khan before his title fight against the Evolve MMA star.
Lee, as the champion, is required to face either Lapicus or Arsnaliev but he also wants to tussle with legends Alvarez and Folayang.
“Eddie [Alvarez] has done enough in his career to make him a legend of this sport, so I would love to share the ONE Circle with him when the time comes. I think that our styles would make for an exciting fight for the fans,” said Lee.
“I would love to share the ONE Circle with Eduard Folayang. I have a lot of respect for all that he’s accomplished in his career, and I think that we could put on a great show for the fans. Eduard is a very good striker, and is now rounding out his wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu. However, I feel that his main strengths are his heart and his killer instinct. He’s the two-time former ONE Lightweight World Champion, so he doesn’t have many weaknesses. I think he’s a great fighter.”
Still at his young age, Lee is capable of achieving lots of other things in the sport and one of that is venturing out of the lightweight division and contend for the ONE World featherweight title against champion Martin Nguyen.
Nguyen (13-3) was once a two-division champion when he held both the featherweight and lightweight titles in 2017 when he beat Folayang and even had a chance at the bantamweight strap but lost to Bibiano Fernandes.
“After I successfully defend my belt, I plan on going back down to featherweight to challenge Martin Nguyen for his title,” said Lee. “I am the reigning and undisputed ONE Lightweight World Champion, and also the number one contender in the featherweight division. The only reason I go back down to featherweight will be to fight for the title.”
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