Christian “The Warrior” Lee may be the ONE Lightweight World Champion now, but he is still widely considered a top contender in the featherweight division.
The 20-year-old was working his way back into World Title contention in his original weight class before a surprise challenge from then-lightweight king Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki saw him move up a category for a dream match at ONE: Enter The Dragon on 17 May.
Even though it was his first match as a lightweight, Lee displayed veteran poise when surviving Aoki’s armbar. Ultimately, he defeated the Japanese grappling legend via TKO in the second round to win the gold and maintain his flawless 100 percent finishing ratio.
“I’ve been a featherweight my whole career, but recently I’ve been putting on more and more weight after each fight, and I feel great at lightweight,” he said.
“I was not worried one bit that my first fight at lightweight was for the belt. I knew that I would carry the weight well. I’ve trained with bigger, stronger guys my whole life, so I was confident that I would translate over well.”
The Singaporean martial arts prodigy has grand plans for his immediate future — and it involves something other than defending his newly-captured title.
While he awaits the end result of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix, he is interested in returning to his old division and claiming a second World Title.
“I plan on staying as active as possible,” Lee continued.
“I am still the top contender in the featherweight division. There’s no one else but me, and if I choose to and if everything lines up, I would absolutely be ready for a fight for that featherweight belt.”
Lee is looking forward to meeting the winner of the World Grand Prix, as Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev, Lowen Tynanes, and Timofey Nastyukhin remain in the prestigious tournament.
Also, all three competitors share something in common with “The Warrior” — they are proven finishers, just like the new World Champ.
“When I’m in there standing across from another person, I’m looking to finish them as quickly as possible, and I’m just excited that they’re going to be looking for the same,” he explained.
“I’m hungry. I’m hungrier than ever. I’m looking to take out every single contender in the lightweight and featherweight divisions. I’m looking to become the most dominant World Champion in ONE Championship history.”