At just 20 years old, Christian Lee can now call himself a world champion.
On Friday in Singapore, Lee captured the ONE lightweight world title with a stunning second round TKO to finish Shinya Aoki in the main event at ONE: ‘Enter the Dragon’.
It was surprising that this fight actually came together considering Aoki just won the title back in March and Lee is typically a featherweight. Still in the aftermath of his win over Eduard Folayang to win the belt, Aoki mentioned Lee specifically as someone he would like to face.
Lee was more than happy to accept the challenge so he stepped up a weight class and took on Aoki for the title.
As the first round got underway, it looked like a classic Aoki performance as he latched onto Lee’s body and immediately dragged him to the ground. It was the last place Lee wanted to be, especially that early into the fight, but he did a good job scrambling free from Aoki’s grasp for the majority of the round.
Aoki finally saw an opening for a submission when he fell back into an armbar during a scramble and it looked like Lee was finished. Aoki extended the arm but Lee refused to to tap out and he continued to wiggle and squirm until he finally broke free from the hold.
Once the second round got started, Lee was immediately on the attack, wasting no time putting Aoki on his heels. Lee bombarded Aoki with punches including a left hand that blasted the Japanese submission specialist and put him on wobbly legs.
Aoki then dropped to the mat and Lee went for the kill.
Huge right hand
He landed a thunderous right hand that twisted Aoki’s head around and that was enough for the referee to rush into stop the contest before Lee could connect with any more punches.
The official end time was 51 seconds into the second round and Lee celebrated his victory as his dream finally came true as he is now the ONE Lightweight World Champion. He improves to 12-3 while Aoki drops to 43-9-0-1.
There will be no shortage of challenges for him in his new division as the ONE Lightweight Grand Prix is already underway and Lee might even consider a move back to featherweight where he still has unfinished business with current champ Martin Nyugen as well.
The action had barely started when Alexandre backed Northcutt towards the ring ropes and then uncorked a hellacious right hand that absolutely crushed the Team Alpha Male fighter.
Almost as if he was in slow motion, Northcutt ate the punch and then fell face first down to the mat as the referee rushed into stop the contest.
The 29 second finish is now the fastest in ONE Championship welterweight history as Alexandre (8-1) gets a huge win while Northcutt (11-3) suffers a stunning loss after inking a multi-fight deal with the Singapore based promotion last year.
While Arslanaliev has finished all of his opponents by strikes, he actually comes from a grappling background and he showed off his wrestling with a couple of huge throws to toss Khan around the ring during the first exchanges in the fight.
Khan did a good job defending his opponent’s ground and pound attack before eventually working his way back to the feet. Khan showed confidence in his striking going up against ‘Dagi’ but his game plan still backfired when he stood in front of the powerful lightweight from Turkey for too long.
Crushing right hand
Once ‘Dagi’ backed the Singapore native up against the ring ropes, he started unleashing a barrage of punches with a right hand crushing Khan’s jaw. Once he had Khan hurt, Arslanaliev was determined to get the finish as he opened up with a flurry that ended with a pair of uppercuts that snapped Khan’s head back and then sent him crumbling to the canvas.
The referee rushed forward to stop the contest before Khan (11-6) could take any unnecessary damage as Arslanaliev (8-1) pulls off another stunning first round knockout to advance in the tournament.
Following this latest win, ‘Dagi’ will now await the winner of the upcoming semi final fight between Lowen Tynanes and Timofey Nastyukhin with the finals of the ONE Lightweight Grand Prix taking place in Tokyo this October.
Eustaquio bounces back
Former flyweight champion Geje Eustaquio used a strong striking attack to get the better of Kim Kyu Sung over the course of three rounds to earn the victory and bounce back from his recent title fight loss to Adriano Moraes.
While Kim enjoyed a long reach and height advantage, he was doing a lot of posturing without actually attacking because every time he stepped forward it was Eustaquio unleashing three and four strike combinations.
Eustaquio was just landing with more regularity and accuracy while Kim was struggling to pull the trigger.
The third round saw Kim finally start to do a little more damage including one thunderous knee that blasted Eustaquio on the chin when he latched onto him in the clinch. Still, Eustaquio was able to weather the storm and continue to fire back until the final bell range.
In the end, Eustaquio (12-7) earned the unanimous decision victory and he will now serve as the alternate for the ongoing ONE Flyweight Grand Prix. Kim (9-3) lost in his first bout for the promotion.
Miao Li Tao picked up the biggest win of his young career as he absolutely demolished Muay Thai legend and former ONE strawweight world champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke with a one punch knockout in the first round as they opened the main card on Friday.
Miao looked like he was going to wrap up a finish on the ground after he took Dejdamrong down to the mat early and began hammering away with punches. The Thai veteran was eventually able to scramble free and work his way back to the feet but ended up doing more harm that good.
Miao seemed more than willing to trade punches with the multi-time Muay Thai champion. With Dejdamrong keeping his chin up, it was only a matter of time before he got clipped.
The end game after Miao uncorked a devastating left hook that blasted Dejdamrong on the chin and sent him crashing to the canvas as a victim of the one punch knockout. It was very similar to the KO the Thai suffered at the hands of Jeremy Miado last year.
It’s a statement performance for Miao while Dejdamrong watches his recent two fight win streak come to an end.
On the preliminary card, grappling sensation Garry Tonon needed just 55 seconds to move his record to a perfect 5-0 with a nasty heel hook submission to put away Yoshiki Nakahara.
Coming into the fight, Nakahara was regarded as the toughest opponent to challenge Tonon in his young career but the New Jersey native made it look easy once the fight got started. Following a brief exchange on the feet, Tonon dove for Nakahara’s leg and immediately locked on his signature heel hook submission and there was no escape for the Japanese veteran as he quickly tapped out to avoid his knee being shredded into pieces.
Afterwards, Tonon said he has officially graduated from prospect status and he’s now hunting for a title shot in ONE Championship. Nakahara slips to 13-5.