For the first time in his young career, Christian “The Warrior” Lee is set to defend his ONE Lightweight World Title.
That opportunity will take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, where Lee will face #1-ranked contender Iuri Lapicus as part of ONE Championship’s blockbuster event, ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX, on Friday, 30 October.
“I was already training with him as the opponent in mind,” Lee said of the hard-hitting Lapicus.
“With Iuri Lapicus, I was really excited to hear that he was going to be my first fight back. He’s done well in his career to earn that #1-contender spot. I give all the credit to him, and I think he’s definitely a worthy opponent.”
While the undefeated Lapicus has earned his status, there’s no doubt that Lee is a worthy World Champion.
The 22-year-old claimed the strap by defeating Japanese mixed martial arts icon Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki in May 2019. He then snuffed out Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev five months later to become the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Champion.
Despite being younger than Lapicus, “The Warrior” thinks his understanding of the sport will pay off in a major way.
“We’re going to meet in the center of the cage, and my experience is going to come into play,” Lee said.
“But just the way our styles match up, I feel like it’s going to be an early clash, and we’re going to see who’s got the better of each other.”
Since he’s putting his gold on the line for the first time, Lee knows he has a lot to prove to mixed martial arts fans. At the same time, he believes he’s proven plenty already.
“Many people say that you’re not a true World Champion until you defend the belt, and in many ways, that is true,“ he said. “But once you win the belt, you win the belt.”
With that mindset, the Hawaii native is only focusing on the factors he can control – in this case, stopping a threatening challenger inside the Circle.
“I’m not thinking about the belt or pleasing any fans or anybody else,“ Lee said.
“I’m just worried about stepping in there and taking out the man in front of me as quickly as possible.
“I’m going to get a first-round TKO finish.”
Catch ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX on Friday, 30 October, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The blockbuster event will feature four World Title bouts between the promotion’s most exciting stars.
Watch the show on meWATCH or the ONE Super App at 8:30 p.m. Singapore Standard Time (SGT). Also, Channel 5 will cut into the live broadcast at 10 p.m. SGT.
Read More From ONE Championship: