ONE: Folayang picks ‘well rounded’ Lee to win over Lapicus
MANILA, Philippines—Eduard Folayang already has his hands full for his ONE: Inside the Matrix match, but he’s also interested in the bout between 170-pound champion Christian Lee and Iuri Lapicus.
Technically, this is Lee’s first defense of the ONE World lightweight title since wrestling it from Japanese legend Shinya Aoki in May 2019 and adding the lightweight Grand Prix belt after defeating Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev in October.
Folayang, who is facing Antonio Caruso in the same card, is picking the 22-year-old Singaporean to come out of Singapore Indoor Arena with the gold still slung on his shoulder.
“This is Christian’s first title defense since capturing the belt and the Grand Prix title, so it will be a good test for him. A victory will no doubt add to his legacy. He’s still young and has a lot of mileage left in him, I can see this young man going far,” said Folayang.
“Iuri is a great grappler, so it might be difficult for Christian to submit him. But being more well-rounded, I see Christian winning this fight in all aspects. It’s a good matchup but I think Christian takes it.”
Lee’s (13-3) whole professional career has been with ONE Championship, starting with the promotion as a 17-year-old challenger with his losses only against former two-division champion Martin Nguyen and Edward Kelly.
Lapicus, meanwhile, won all of his 14 professional fights with a 100 percent stoppage rate (14 submissions, four KOs) but has only fought twice in ONE Championship against Shannon Wiratchai and Marat Gafurov both of which ended via rear-naked choke.
Folayang said a win for Lapicus would not only get him the title but also the notoriety in the promotion.
Lee, however, is viewed as the better fighter among the combatants.
“This is a good fight between Christian Lee and Iuri Lapicus. The two top guys in the division, evenly matched, said Folayang “It’s a battle between a great striker and a great grappler. However, I think Christian is the more well-rounded fighter,” said Folayang.