Christian Lee already has one title. But the 24 year old wants to make it two and he will have the opportunity to do that at ONE on Prime Video 4 next week.
Lee is moving up a division to challenge welterweight champion Kiamrian Abbasov. He had been planning to take a break after his second round stoppage win over Ok Rae Yoon at ONE 160.
But Lee says the opportunity to fulfill a dream was simply too good to turn down,
“After claiming my title back, it sounded really nice to take some time off. But an opportunity like this is really just too big of a moment to let it just pass me by. Fighting for a second title and (in) a second weight division has always been a dream of mine since I started this sport.”
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) August 26, 2022
It is something his sister has tried to do twice. Angela Lee was beaten by Xiong Jing Nan on both occasions and the reigning lightweight champion would like to succeed where she failed by moving up a division to win the belt.
The fight will headline ONE on Prime Video 4 and Lee expects to provide plenty of entertainment regardless of the outcome,
“I think they chose a good fight to headline this card because Abbasov is an extremely talented fighter (and) when he goes out there, he’s always looking to finish his fights.”
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) October 18, 2021
Six of Lee’s last seven wins have come inside the distance and he thinks that the ingredients are all in place for the sort of scrap that will excite the prime time audience in North America,
“When I go there, I’m looking to finish my fights. So regardless of the outcome, I know, it’s going to be an exciting fight for the fans.”
Having never fought at welterweight before Lee knows he probably won’t be handed a second chance to challenge for the title. He feels that the pressure that comes from this makes it the ‘biggest moment’ in his career,
“Every performance is your biggest performance. And going into this fight, this is everything. Everything that I’ve worked towards, has led to this moment, so yeah, definitely. This is going to be my biggest moment to date.”
Christian Lee 🇺🇸🇸🇬 retains the ONE Lightweight World Title with a first-round stoppage of Timofey Nastyukhin! @ChristianLeeMMA @tntdrama @BleacherReport @BR_MMA @brlive #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship #ONEonTNT2 pic.twitter.com/mxxy1ZRF8S
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) April 15, 2021
Wearing him down
Lee has so much respect for Abbasov that for once he is not predicting a first round finish. The reigning lightweight champion thinks it will take him slightly less than three rounds to win his welterweight debut and take home another belt,
“Of course, my goal is always to finish my opponents in the first round. But technically speaking, giving Abbasov credit, how tough he is, I think that I’m going to end up wearing him down and submitting him in the third round.”